Minutes – August 3, 2016



Wednesday, August 3, 2016; Library Conference Room; 4:00pm-6:00pm

In Attendance:

Kim Foley, Liz Lafferty, Ande Finley, Scott Finley, Bob Gerfy, Ron Metcalf, Beth Robson, Henning Sehmsdorf, Margot Janeway, Beverly Zapalac, Marisa James, Life Has Meaning, and Kai Sanburn





  • I-732 Campaign:  Ande updated the group on the current activities of this campaign – primarily canvassing at the Saturday Market, conducting surveys on the ferries, and calling voters in Skagit County.  People are needed to take shifts for the next five weeks remaining of the Market.  Additional support was garnered from Islands Climate Resilience yesterday on San Juan and Paul Andersson, a recent transplant from Seattle to Orcas Island, will help with activities there.  Also attending the meeting was Anne Miller, Margot’s daughter and a Seattle climate activist, who was asked to speak about her hesitations to support I-732.  A lively discussion followed in which various positions were examined around issues of projected shortfalls of revenue, lack of inclusion of disadvantaged communities, and opposition by diverse environmental and labor organizations.  The recently-published Sightline Institute article – which came out in favor of I-732 – was cited as an impartial, valuable resource.  Ron wants our booth at the Market to be about Transition, not just I-732 and Bob will review the Transition brochure/flyer to disseminate information about the group.  Liz brought up the idea of including “The Climate Anxiety Doctor is In” and trying it out in the remaining weeks of the Market if she can find others to partner with.
  • Energy Roundtable Update:  Scott reported on the meeting he attended yesterday on San Juan at which two new SJC Conservation District activities were unveiled.  The “Green Home Tour” will take place on all three major islands – Lopez’ event will be on October 1st.  The Conservation District received a grant to rebate up to $1,500 for each installation of ten new electric vehicle charging stations on the islands – suggestions for Lopez were at Blossom, Sunset, and the Southend General Store.
  • Islands Climate Resilience Group Report:  Ande & Scott attended a meeting of the Islands Climate Resilience in Friday Harbor yesterday and learned of upcoming programs – “Drought, Water, & Climate Resiliency” at Brickworks on August 25th and sometime in September or October, Lopez will be one of the locations for a multi-media event about wildfires.

 Dime-A-Gallon Project:  Ron described this program adapted from a Berkeley Quakers group in which people voluntarily charge themselves a carbon tax on all the fossil fuels they personally consume.  Monthly, totals would be submitted and an appropriate recipient chosen to receive the funds.  Liz suggested that an Islands Weekly article be written and the Saturday Market booth be used to publicize this to the wider island audience.  She will look into designing and getting Paper Scissors to donate special Transition booklets for handing out to individuals to track these expenses.  Eventually, an island-wide challenge could be an outgrowth of this project.



 Work That Reconnects:  Ron updated the group on this upcoming Joanna Macy-inspired program.  Transition is partnering with the Quakers to bring Marianne Percy from Bellingham to facilitate the workshop which will take place over Friday, November 11th to Saturday, November 12th at Grace Church.  A maximum of 25-30 members from these two groups will participate with a cost of $30-$75 on a sliding scale.  Ron will run the finances through the Transition bank account with the assurance that the program will not deplete any of our funds.

  • Potlucks with a Purpose and Other Events:  Kim would like to hold a future potluck at S & S Homestead to inform more people about how it can be utilized.
  • Transfer of S & S Homestead to the community:  On July 12th, Henning & Elizabeth met with Sandy Bishop and land use lawyer, Ryan Vancil to take the next steps in turning their farm over to the community.  Henning is excited to have Transition use the farm to further its purpose in promoting resilience here.  The “Lopez Island Farm Institute (LIFI)” has been created to preserve agricultural land and give young farmers a place to start.  Stonecrest Farm is being purchased by the Institute and a fundraiser is being held there tonight.
  • EMFs Workshop:  In September, Henning will be holding a Transition-sponsored workshop at S & S Homestead taught by Dr. Roger Ozanne to educate people about the effects of EMFs on human health and how they can be moderated.   Date will be announced soon.
  • Other Potential Workshops: 
  • Nikyta Palmisani Repurposing Creativity Workshop
  • Nathan Donnelly & Permaculture
  • Nathan Hodges & Climate Impacts on Lopez



  • Island Shuttle/School Bus Electrification: On July 26th, Henning invited State Representative Kris Lytton, her assistant, School Superintendent Brian Auckland, Conservation District Executive Director, Linda Lyshall, and the new director of the Washington Association of Conservation Districts to the farm to discuss the next steps in electrifying Lopez school buses and converting them to a public utility to provide all-day shuttle transportation for the island.  Linda will be applying for a feasibility study grant to explore how a program like this could be developed with a partnership between the Lopez School system, the Conservation District, and the State Legislature.  The Steering Committee applauded this huge success accomplished by Henning’s persistence.  Anne Miller asked to be kept in the loop on the progress of this project; she has been pursuing similar goals in Seattle.



Bob discussed potential Community Conversations with “Got Green” and the new “Movement for Black Lives.”  Kai pointed out that issues around racism are often discussed, but those around class, i.e. regarding poor, white people, are often ignored.  On Lopez we have a largely invisible group living in poverty as well as an extensive Latino community that keeps to itself.  It is puzzling to know how to engage them more.


Meeting adjourned!

Next meeting of the Steering Committee:

Wednesday, September 14th, 4:00 pm in the Library Conference Room