January Newsletter

Transition Town Montpelier Events

Vermont Dollars, Vermont Sense, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Thursday, January 21, 6:00 PM.
Are you concerned about your IRA, 401(k) or pension plan being invested in the stock market? Do you find yourself wondering how you might shift your investments to support local businesses and keep your financial security closer to home?  Join Gwendolyn Hallsmith in a discussion about 28 local investment tools for grassroots investors, businesses, finance professionals, and anyone else interested in a vibrant local economy. Vermont Dollars, Vermont Sense gives specific examples of how Vermont businesses, individuals, governmental agencies, and finance professionals have used local investment to create real wealth and jobs in our state.  Gwendolyn Hallsmith, is the founder and Executive Director of Global Community Initiatives, a non-profit organization founded in 2002 that has offices in Montpelier and Johannesburg, South Africa. She is the author of three books and three workbooks on sustainable development and local economies, and has 25 years of experience working with municipal, regional, and state government in the United States and internationally.

New England Regional Transition News

In November, thirteen members of the New England Resilience & Transition Network, including Dan Jones from Montpelier, gathered for an Action Planning meeting in Jamaica Plain, Boston. Folks came from Vermont to Portland, Maine to New Haven, Connecticut, and many places in between. It was wonderful to have representation from near and far.

In the morning we focused on the NERT network itself. NERT now has 44 members across all six New England states! We discussed network engagement, support and inter-connection, in keeping with NERT Goals #1 and #2. We also discussed plans to convene a NERT Advisory Committee to help us stay connected with other networks and glean more information from around the region.

In the afternoon, we focused on NERT Goals #3 and #4Articulate a Common Storythat conveys our vision for a positive future, despite threats of climate change, resource shortages, inequities, and more; and Create a sense of “Network Self-Awareness” among resilience, Transition, and other grassroots groups in New England. Read more…

The New England Resilience & Transition Network is a network for grassroots groups working on Community Resilience, Transition, the New Economy, Environmental Justice, Permaculture, Renewable Local Energy, Local Food, Sustainability, Time Banking, and More.


Community Events

Paris COP21 Report Back: Presented by Jobs, Justice, and Climate Initiative
Sunday January 3, 20164:30pm – 6pm, (potluck with 350VT to follow)

130 Main St, Unitarian Church of Montpelier
Join us for a report back from Aly Johnson-Kurts and Senowa Mize-Fox who were participants in the Vermont delegation to the United Nations climate negotiations. Aly and Senowa drew headlines around the world when they interrupted Governor Shumlin to draw attention to his unacceptable support for a fracked gas pipeline during his presentation at a “local climate leaders” panel. Aly is leader of SustainUS and the Communications Director with Rights & Democracy. Senowa is a leader of UE Local 203, the union representing workers at City Market. Hear their first hand accounts of the massive global protests in Paris and discuss next steps for the movement including the new Jobs, Justice & Climate initiative for bold action in Vermont, New Hampshire and beyond. Co-sponsored by 350 Vermont, potluck dinner to follow at 6pm.

This Changes Everything” film screening and panel discussion 
Tuesday, January 26, 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier, Free.

“This Changes Everything” is a documentary inspired by Naomi Klein’s book by the same name. It presents the impacts of climate change on communities worldwide and Klein’s ideas about how we can use the climate crisis to transform our economic system.

Followed by a panel discussion with:

Tony Klein, Vermont Representative from East Montpelier and Middlesex and Chair of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee
Tom Hughes, Energy Independent Vermont Campaign Director
Gabrielle Stebbins, Energy Consultant and Board Member at Renewable Energy Vermont

Sponsored by the Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club, SunCommon, 350VT, Hunger Mountain Coop, and the Unitarian Church of Montpelier. 

Vermont Grain growers Conference:

Our theme this year for the Annual Grain Growers Conference is “From the Soil Up”.  Click on the Conference Flyer for more details, as well as registration information.

Join us on Thursday, March 17, 2016, 9:30am to 5:30pm at The Essex Resort for the conference.  Cost is $55 per person or $50 per NGGA member and includes lunch.

Our keynote speaker is author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement.  He will address climate change and the role of farmers sequestering CO2.  Go to the Conference Flyer or the registration website to see additional speakers and topics including: 
Greg Johnsman from Geechee Boy Mills
Andrew Heyn and Blair Marvin from Elmore Mountain Bread
John Navazio from Johnny Seeds
Farmers Sean O’Donnell and Thor Oeschner
Jaime Cummings, Cornell Plant Pathologist
King Arthur Flour
Vermont Bean Crafters
and more

Register early to save your spot at the 2016 Grain Growers Conference at at www.regonline.com/grainconference or call Susan Brouillette at 802-524-6501.  Please note that I cannot take credit card information over the phone to complete a registration.

CarShare Montpelier:

CarShare is a great tool for solving the parking problem in Montpelier.  Downtown often runs out of parking spots, and recently the lot at National Life has been completely full too.  If more people walked to work, this problem would be less severe.  VTRANS has been working to promote carsharing, carpooling and public transportation.  There are a lot of 2nd and 3rd cars per household in Montpelier.  When we reduce the number of cars we own, and use services like CarShare, we make our town better for everybody.  CarShare gives you access to a second car when you need it.

Let’s keep up the momentum and make this pilot project a huge success! If you’d like to get involved, please email alicia@carsharevt.org or call (802) 861-2340.

Life without a Car in Vermont

The Vermont Department of Transportation had a very interesting meeting on how to live without a car in Vermont.  The presentation can be seen here.

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