Kickin’ it in #PDX

Hey Folks,

I’ve been kickin’ it here in Portland for the last few days.  I was just recently at the North American Organic Brewers Fest and tonight I’m filming the @ecotrust Sundown Concert series which will be happening each thurs for the next couple of weeks.   If anyone would like to kick it with me and help find rad permaculture or ecocity related projects to check out hit me up via twitter @gaiapunk or at thejulianeffect(at)gmail.com.  Here is just one more reason that #PDX is the king of permaculture cites.

Portland's newest bridge over the Willamette has no room for cars

*Cross posted from the SE Porland Katu blog

PORTLAND, Ore. – Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Thursday in Portland to mark the start of construction of the first new bridge across the Willamette River in over 40 years.

However, the newest bridge to span Portland’s east and west sides since 1973, when the massive Fremont Bridge was lifted into place above Portland’s northern industrial district, will serve as a link for mass transit, cyclists and pedestrians.

There will be no lanes for cars and trucks on the new span, which will be a 1,720-foot suspension bridge with futuristic styling, wide sidewalks for cyclists and tracks for light rail trains and street cars. TriMet buses will also use the new bridge, which will be fed by Southest Sherman Street on the east side and Southwest Porter Street on the west.

The overall project, incuding 10 rail stations, ramps and other structures, is 7.3 miles in length.

Local dignitaries including Portland Mayor Sam Adams and Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, both longtime cycling and mass transit advocates, joined Rep. Kurt Schrader for groundbreaking ceremonies Thursday morning next to large cranes construction crews will use to build two foundations in the river for the bridge’s two truss towers.

Rail tracks across the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge will expand Portland’s widely heralded urban light rail and streetcar system out to a total of 60 miles when it connects Milwaukie and other communities along McLoughlin Boulevard on Portland’s southern border.

“This project will continue our region’s proactive approach to transportation,” said Congressman Blumenauer in a press release Thursday. “It provides thousands of jobs while improving connections for SE Portland and North Clackamas County. I applaud TriMet and our region for getting this project moving and I’m eager to see it get underway.”

“The bridge and the overall project will link east and west, improve and expand transit, and most importantly, create up to 14,000 jobs when we most need them,” said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane.

Construction of the new span begins Friday, July 1 and is expected to wrap up in the fall of 2015. The cost of the bridge is about $1.5 billion, paid for with 50 percent federal funding and the rest funded by “state and local partners” according to a press release. It is similar to a recently constructed bridge in Boston.

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U-Vic Garden Struggles

*Editors Note* David Holgrem co-founder of the permaculture movement will be giving a talk at 5pm pst on U-Vic radio which you can find here

No Justice, No peace….!

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In Solidarity with Garden Struggles everywhere…

we at Punk Rock Permaculture E-zine support the Uvic students as they affirm their right to exercise their autonomy and creativity and practice regenerative design at the school that is dependent on their attendance.

For Immediate Release (3/26/2010)
Media Advisory

UVic Administration Bulldozes Students’ Garden Plots, Students Pledge to Continue Resistance

Friday March 26, 2010 – Coast Salish Territories – Victoria, B.C. At midnight March 26th campus administration and Saanich police at the University of Victoria used bulldozers to destroy the ten garden plots created by approximately 400 UVic students the day before. UVic student Mike-Jo was handcuffed and arrested for “assault by trespass” for standing by the garden plots to block their destruction. He was later released.

Yesterday hundreds of students who walked by the pits of mud that were plots of vegetables and native plants the day before expressed grief and anger at the gardens’ destruction. “Yesterday we proved that we as students can build a sustainable and positive relationship with the land,” said UVic student Joyce Lyell, “after fifteen years of having UVic administration turn down every one of our campus agriculture and garden proposals, we took action on our own. With the bulldozing of our gardens, it is now more obvious than ever that UVic values lawns over sustainable food, and values control of students over student choice and ingenuity”.

Yesterday students turned the former garden plots into a memorial site, erecting tombstones marked R.I.P Food Security and R.I.P. Student Voice, and a flag reading “Shame on UVic”. Approximately forty students then marched to the campus administrative building to demand an apology for the destruction of the gardens, but found that Campus Security and Saanich police had locked them out of the building. “I find it disgusting, and indicative of the administration’s cowardice, that they refuse concerned students entry into the building whose administrators claim to represent them,” said UVic student Erin Davis.

Several students attempted to gain access to the administrative building when Tom Smith, Executive Director of Facilities Management, said by UVic to have authorized the bulldozing of the gardens, was seen trying to sneak into the building via a back door. When these students held the door open to access the building after Smith unlocked the door, Smith violently shoved the student standing in the doorway. The student says she will bring this encounter into the public so that students will suffer no illusions that UVic administration exists to help students. “To deny students an opportunity to bring food security to our campus, to openly destroy our efforts, and to actually physically assault concerned students, sends a crystal clear message – that UVic opposes creativity, dialogue, and solutions, and that administrators have nothing but disrespect for the land, community, and student voices,” she said.

Yesterday afternoon at a large, public meeting students decided to start rebuilding the gardens at the same location in front of the UVic library, at noon on Wednesday, March 31. They encourage students and community members to bring shovels and seedlings to the event.

Media Contact
Matt Christie: 250-588-7924 or mrc@uvic.ca

I encourage anyone interested in Garden Struggles to watch the film below and show it to your friends….

Can Permaculture Save Detroit?

Detroit Permaculture

Here is some completely heretical news in for the world of eco-capitalist dreamers; no silly white multi-million dollar media men will ever solve the worlds ecological or social problems.  Yeah I know what your thinking blasphemous right?  Specifically, I am referring to the uber opportunistic and freshly greenwashed faces of Al gore, Warren Buffet, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Richard Rainwater, and now John Hantz.  Hantz, a big time financial investor and longtime Detroit resident is proposing to put 30 million down of his own money to build a high tech farming operation that will be coupled with “green” estates.  In Fortune Magazine’s limited interview Hantz said that Detroit is suffering from a lack of scarcity and that the only way to save housing prices is by taking as much property off the market as possible, hence the massive farm and real estate combo.  But, couple this seemingly benign idea with a one track profit motive and instead of community revitalization one gets rampant community gentrification that pushes out the very people (the poorer residents of Detroit) that one is purporting to be “helping”.  The team Hantz has assembled thus far is glaringly white in a city that is over 80% black which is highly suspicious to say the least not to mention naming the entire operation Hantz Farm doesn’t inspire thoughts of “community”.  Rather than going to the folks who have already spent immense amounts of effort to bring local organic food to their communities and bring jobs in their neighborhoods, and then offer to assist financially in their efforts, thus far Hantz is developing a hierarchal strategy that may put those very folks out of business. Hantz’s preliminary proposals have garnered lots of unwarranted media attention even though very few details have emerged about how this farming project will be managed and who exactly will manage it.

The Hantz Farm site is just a  collection of stock photos that to me seem as hollow as their message.  Okay perhaps I’m being too cynical but right now important questions remain around what exact types of technology the farm will employ (already energy expensive technologies like hydroponics and large scale harvesters have been mentioned) , if there is even a viable market in the region, and most importantly, who will this for profit enterprize benefit the most.  “I’m concerned about the corporate takeover of the urban agriculture movement in Detroit,” says Malik Yakini, a charter school principal and founder of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, which operates D-Town Farm on Detroit’s west side. (from CNN)

Organic farming is enjoying a nice trendy resurgence as a solution to urban, rural, and ecological ills. Unfortunately, farming no mattter how popular can only do so much.  It is well known that various economic events some deliberate and some unexpected have cost the United States and urban manufacturing centers like Detroit obscene amounts of jobs.  What is not well known, is that neither local organic farming, or any green high tech green wizardry, is likely to bring these jobs back in the near future.  But, never fear, there are three simple solutions to this whole mess we’re all in along with Detroit.

ONE: Permaculture

Detroit honestly doesn’t need anymore scarcity (though real estate barons may see it differently) it desperately needs abundance, and permaculture is a complete system that designs for abundance.  If the polluted landscape of Detroit is going to be regenerated then organic farming is just not enough.

TWO: Cooperatives

The entire history of Detroit is one of total abandonment by the world of capital and a complete lack of responsibility or loyalty to the local community.  Cooperatives by their very nature encourage horizontal investment, diversity, democracy, and local responsibility.

THREE: Community Land Trusts

Community Land Trusts are set up in such a way as to encourage low income buyers into positions of ownership and avoid volatility in housing prices.  There are few communities in the the US that have suffered worse volatility in housing prices than Detroit.  What Hantz is proposing is just green veiled gentrification while the real solution for the people of Detroit lies in Community Land Trusts.  Burlington VT has many successful examples of how and why CLT’s can close the gaps of classism.

Note, I did not mention 30 million dollars from some rich white guy!  Now if that 30 million was invested in those 3 things I would surely change my tune, but if it’s invested in anything else, I really wouldn’t get my hopes up.  Currently, Detroit will likely be the venue for the 2010 US social forum and I plan on being there purposing real solutions based on living permaculture and cooperative principals not on selfish, dead, capitalist oriented ones.                                       [tweetmeme]

Organizations doing the real work in Detroit:

Evolve Detroit    http://detroitevolution.com/

Detroit Agriculture Network  http://www.detroitagriculture.org/

Detroit Summer http://www.detroitsummer.org/

Midwest Permaculture  http://www.midwestpermaculture.com/

Landslide Community Urban Farm!

Radical Community Profile: Landslide Community Farm

Pittsburgh, PA

The history of the Landslide Community Farm is analogous to one of natures little accidents, a mutation if you will, that with in a certain given context becomes crucial if not startlingly beautiful.

Landslide has grown from a couple of fixed up “farm houses” to a non profit in control of multiple city plots used for urban farming.  Landsliders are using permaculture techniques, inclusive outreach, and smart campaigning to get strong rapport with city (even enough to fight off a unjust eviction attempt).   These permie punxs along with their equally amazing neighbors are making their urban environments more livable, more ecologically sound, and if dare say, all around more krunk.  Landsliders are truly stout folks with aspirations that include more than just themselves, but instead a desire to elevate the relationships around them, including the earth, and the greater Pittsburgh community as a whole.  Many Landsliders volunteer with collectives like Food NOT Bombs and most likely a dozen other awesome radical or progressive projects too numerous to mention here.

It is my view that permaculture is really 10 % physically oriented and 90 % percent community oriented because ultimately it is the community that will implement the work that is most needed.  The first rule for building community is just being inclusive by making what your doing accessible, affordable, and autonomously oriented.   Even when all the steel money is long gone it is the history of our relationship with the earth and others that will remain.  Landsliders are leaving a history in Pittsburgh that anyone would be proud of.

go Gaia punks go!

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Ooooby! and One Million Gardens!!


 (Out of our own back yards) is a new social networking site on the Ning network that is dedicated to localvores, permaculture, gardening, and a lot more.  When you can also check the Transition Movment  and the One Million Gardens campaign.  Welcome to regenerative culture!  Gaia punxs unite!

I have a quote that I’ve been inspired by lately I would like to share with you:

“Revolution is based on land.  Land is the basis of all independence.  Land is the basis of Freedom, Justice, and Equality.”

–Malcolm X

“Message to the Grassroots” November 10th 1963

Just for fun…

I always wanted to list some of the interesting things that could go before the word punk that I could find or think of so here goes: permaculture punk, bio punk, bike punk, steam punk, cyber punk, eco punk, dance punk, krunk punk, space punk, color punk, art punk, sly punk, blog punk, skate punk, surf punk, snow punk, desert punk, forest punk, loser punk, lazer punk, rave punk, daft punk mutant punk, digital punk, primativist punk, green anarcho punk, vegie punk, folk punk, garden punk, gaia punk, flower punk, and spunk punk!

add more by commenting if you think up good ones…

so far added in comments have been gypsy punk, and high frequency punk