Everything you want to know from the October 13 meeting!

The meeting and film on October 13 was well attended and very enlightening.

We started the meeting at 6PM with an introduction of new members. Myron, John, Mike, Dan, Edna, Colin and others were present. I’m still learning the ins and outs of running meetings… need to remember next time to pass around the sign in sheet at the start of the meeting so that I can catch everyones name because now I can’t read my own writing and have forgotten everyone elses name! Sorry! 🙂

There is one exception though, Benedict, who is a student visiting from Germany. He’s finishing up his degree in Social Sciences and he’ll likely be helping us out as part of that work, cool stuff!

This was our first meeting at Abbeyfield. It was a good space. Note to self, we’ll need to bring a lamp next time for the movie as it was pretty dark down there with the lights out!

#2 on the Agenda was Striking a Committee to create a Transition Towns Port Alberni constitution/governing document so that we can work towards getting official Transition Town status. Bonnie, myself (Chris) and Dan all volunteered to take that on. I am going to coordinate meetings between the 3 of us. I have the document that Transition Town Victoria is using so we can use that as a guide. We will of course bring our work back to the general meeting for everyone to look at and give feedback on. I will also create a new group for us on the website here so that we can share our work publicly.

#3 was about the request we received from North Island College to come and talk to a class of learning-disabled folks about the Local Food initiatives we’re working on, Transition Towns, and specifically how they can help. John Mayba has already talked with NIC and agreed to take that on and keep us updated on how it works out.

#4 was Other Business, there was a lot! 🙂
– First Mike Lewis introduced us to Benedict who I have already talked about. He’s going to be a great addition, if only temporary, to the group. Thank you Benedict for coming, the more the merrier!

– Mike also brought up the “NING” website system… which is this very web system that you are reading right now. It was a great suggestion, and it will hopefully address some issues members were having previously. The mailing list will remain as the main communication method between all members but for sure, this website is going to be key for building the community and collaborative nature of Transition Towns Port Alberni!

To address email fatigue with the mailing list I’ve also enabled Digest mode for people who would like it. Digest Mode simply means that instead of receiving every individual email sent to the mailing list,people will get 1 email per day that includes the individual messages inside of it.

– Mike also addressed the topic of delivering seminars on Food in the Valley. He indicated that he would like to do seminars and will prepare the content for them as well as deliver them, but he does not have the time to do all the organization around securing space, time, and promotion of the event. Dan Schubart has volunteered to take on the organization of that and will coordinate with Mike on what the seminars will entail.

– Myron Jesperson brought up an initiative by the BC Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA) where they have been going into classrooms in School Districts around the province to introduce sustainable energy practices through fun games, contests, and learning exercises for students in Grades 5 and 6. There was some discussion amongst members of how to address students and how to engage with the Schools and School District to encourage them to allow this to happen. There was also general acknowledgement that alot of this stuff is already happening, especially at ADSS and that many of our current and hopeful members are teachers in the District. There is a cost to bring in the BCSEA folks, but that cost can also be reduced by having volunteers (maybe us!) deliver some of the content. I (Chris) would like to help with that! I am hopeful that Myron elaborates a little more when he creates an Energy Group on the website here (nudge nudge wink wink Myron :))

The Last “Other Business” was around an idea on how people could donate to Transition Towns so that we can actually raise a little money to cover some of the costs of the activities. This idea involved having folks contribute based on their Carbon Footprint of how they got to meetings and events. It would not be large sums of money by any stretch but it’s a great way to get people thinking about how they move around and if people would like to “Offset” their carbon footprint from other activities, they could do so by donating to a group committed to reducing Carbon emissions right here in the Valley! At that point… some $20 bills flew across the table at John. They have now ended up in a small fund (ie: margarine container) at my house to help with some future TT costs.

#5 On the List was the date/time of our next meeting.

Dan has already booked the Albeyfield basement for Tuesday, November 17 6PM through 9PM. We will have another movie at that point. There is already discussion on the mailing list around what movie to show. The meeting will likely start at 6PM again with the movie afterwards.

Finally, #6 on the agenda was the October 24th event. John and Bonnie have taken this on and have done an incredible job! If you haven’t already seen the media coverage in the AV Times or City Council, there will actually be at least 3 events held for the http://www.350.org day of action on Saturday, October 24th. There will be a presentation and film at Echo Center, a 350km bike relay around Port Alberni, and a hike up Three Sisters.

First at around 2PM there will be a gathering at Echo Center of everyone involved, talkers, watchers, bikers, and hikers! This will be for a big photo be to sent off to the folks at 350.org in time for them to include in 1000s of other photos from around the world. They will be shown in Times Square and at the United Nations, among other places.

The event at Echo Center will include a fun presentation by ADSS students on Climate Change. These students attended a seminar and summer workshop on environmental issues during the summer so they’re excited to use their new skills. There will also be a short (20min) film called “The Story of Stuff”. It is a great little movie.

Over at Ozzys Cycle they will be hosting a 350km Relay around Port Alberni. There is no timing or racing, participants can register by phoning Ozzys Cycle. Each relayer or group will do a 10km circuit around Port Alberni to raise awareness about the day. There will also be activities at Ozzys (on Johnson and Roger) through the afternoon. We’ll have to hope for some good weather!

Event #3 will be a hike up to 3 Sisters from the Coombs Country Candy. More information will be forthcoming on how to get in on that event in the next day or two. It will be a 3-4 hour journey roundtrip so make sure you bring some snacks and have a good pair of hiking boots. The goal being to get out and enjoy the outdoors and get up to a nice high, scenic place for a great picture to share with 350.org!

There will be a petition handed around at all of the events to encourage local political action on climate change and peak oil/energy security.

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