Monday, December 13, 2010

Community Gathering Thanks!

Thanks to Mark Dixon, Tara Alexander and Brian, the filmakers that are telling the story of this Transition initiative. Thanks Greg Boulos for being there as a trained Transitioner who has sparked this South Side Transition. The next T4T, Training for Transition, will be in early February. Go to or the Transition facebook page for details.

Thank you Leandro and Sebastian and Margaret for your artwork and introducing the energy of art into the studio space upstairs. Thank you Shari, and everyone who danced, for moving dance to the space that evening. Thank you Matt for serving Building New Hope's delicious fairly traded shade grown, organic coffee and displaying marmoleum and a host of other wonderful sustainably oriented building materials from Lawrenceville's Artemis Envrionmental. Thanks Janice Donatelli of Artemis for supplying the materials. Thanks you Theodora Shipper for selling your special natural sauce and thank you David Erzen of Erzen Associaties for displaying your green peroxide based cleaning supplies.

Thank you Marty, Brian and Audrey Dorfner for serving your delicious smoked sausage samples and thanks to Rick and Donna Stanton and all of the Schwartz Market employees for doing their work for so many years. We are all working together to facilitate a smooth transition to the future. The current owners of the business are planning to retire and are asking for $75,000 for their business or for anyone interested to make them an offer. In the meantime, we are morphing the space to continue to carry the items the market has carried for many years, but also carry more local items from local producers. If you'd like to rent shelf space in the market area, let us know immediately!

Thank you the 75 plus folks that came out on a cold evening on December 8, 2010, to gather around to see the architectural plans by Tony Albrecht and Carrie DiFiore. And thanks for imagining with us. And thanks for getting to know each other. The next step is to gather our energy and funding together. A handful of us will be meeting with the Heinz Endowment Environment officer this week and also with the current owners of the Schwartz business to work through this next step, the funding piece of the puzzle.

We are putting together two 7 person boards. One board will meet to plan the overall vision and implement this vision. The other group of seven will be a steering committee to work more specifically on the co-op vision and implementation. If you are interested in being in one of these two groups, please let us know. The committment will be for two hours once a week, for the next year. We are working to raise funds to hire Lisa Stolarski to implement the co-op plan and also raise funds for renovation of the existing historic structure as a living building as was talked about in a prior post.

Thank you to Megan Dietz, Jennifer, in the purple house, Melanie E. of Gypsy Cafe, Pat of 17th Street Cafe, Sweetwater Cooking, Plamen, Brad Hochberg, the UGGC, Bruce Construction, ERnie Sota, Eric Fisher, Gerry Morasco, Stan Pittman of the Sarah Heinz House, Chad and Joel of Allegheny Green Roofs, Three Rivers Bioneers, Seedspeak, TransitionPghers, Aaron Fraser, PA Resources Council, Conservation Consultants and Ann Gerace, Yvonne Phillips, Kate O'Brien, the EEFC, Mark, Bruce Kraus, SSLDC, PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture, and everone who I did not mention individually for all you have done so far. The adventure is just beginning!

Contact with your intentions as we move forward. :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What is a Living Building?

My understanding of a living building is one that produces energy instead of using energy. It's a pretty wild idea, but one that Phipps Conservatory is working towards here in Pittsburgh. Phipps's new administrative and educational building that is just about under construction is planning to meet the "Living Building Challenge."

We are working with the South Side residents, South Side community and other local communities, architects, engineers, non-profits, students of all ages, council folks, and others to craft a design for a living building renovation of the existing historic structure at 1317 East Carson Street. At the upcoming event on December 8, 2010, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at 1317 East Carson, you'll meeet a lot of the folks that have been helping to plan this building and community transition. We'll be seeing some architects' plans for an urban farm on the rooftop and an art display created by artists of all ages: DOORS.

We're basing our project on the ideas in the book The Town That Food Saved by Ben Hewitt and The Integrative Design Guide to Green Building: Redefining the Practice of Sustainability by 7group and Bill Reed.

Join us for food, frolic, fun, and come generate the continuing plans with us. We need your help to manifest these dreams! Invite your friends and neighbors too. :)