Transition Ferndale, for our meeting on Thursday, April 19, 2012, will be doing something a little different than hosting a video and discussion. We’re going to have a panel presentation of several ongoing volunteer projects in Ferndale. These are projects that build the local community; projects you or your friends might want to get involved in. Please pass this announcement on to anyone who might be interested.
Ken Grundberg will speak for for Motor City Free Geek, which has its offices at 1511 Jarvis Street, Suite #10, Ferndale, MI 48220.
Motor City Free Geek is a charity which takes donated computers, both desktops and laptops. The computers are disassembled, then refurbished and rebuilt. Components that cannot be reused are recycled in an enviromnmentally responsible fashion, not shipped to a dump in China. Rebuilt computers are donated to schools, churches and charities that can use them. Free Geek trains volunteers to do the work, and a volunteer who rebuilds ten computers can get the eleventh one for free.
Michelle Foster will speak for the Ferndale Time Bank, which has its office at 631 Shasta Place, Ferndale MI 48220.
Phone:  248-812-9382
The Time Bank, which includes Pleasant Ridge along with Ferndale, encourages members to exchange their services, counted in hours at a given task, with other members – no money involved. You might be able to get your house painted, or your wiring evaluated or your oil changed, in exchange for an equal number of hours of babysitting, dog walking, or yard work. You exchange hours with the group, and there is software to keep track of the hours. You may meet neighbors this way that you never would have otherwise.
Jim Pool & Judy McRobb will speak for the Food Pantry program, run from the Renaissance Vineyard Church(formerly First Baptist Church of Ferndale), 1841 Pinecrest Dr., Ferndale, MI 48220.
Phone:  (248) 545-4664
The Food Pantry is the easiest program to explain. It collects donated food and distributes food packages to those who need it. We will hear about where the food comes from, how it is distributed, and the various ways in which people can participate.
The schedule for this event is:
7:00 – 7:15 general conversation and light refreshment
7:15 – 8:15 (approximately) presentations from the panel; literature and signup sheets for announcements of future activities passed around
8:15 – 8:45 (again approximate) questions from the audience for the panel
8:45 to as long as people are interested; breakout sessions in the corners of the room
The Transition movement has its own understanding of why it’s a good idea to make the local community more resilient. We believe that peak oil and climate change add up to a failing economy. More broadly, depletion of resources (not just oil) and degradation of the environment (not just climate change)have serious consequences. Our industrial economy cannot continue to grow by using more and more energy, because that energy is becoming less available, more expensive and more harmful to the environment.
The traditional path of economic growth is less and less viable as the conditions that made it possible are disappearing. It brings us less and less benefit every year. We won’t continue on that path indefinitely because we can’t. There is some price for gasoline that means we can’t afford to drive everywhere we want, so we won’t. There is some cost for food so high that it makes sense to grow as much of our own food as possible, so we will. That’s how our society starts feeling out a new path when the old one gets too rocky.
The energy-intensive global economy can be replaced by multiple local economies that are labor-intensive; that is, by local economies that have jobs for everyone. That’s the Transition movement’s long-term perspective. We think it is a better idea than collapse and catastrophe. The way we get from here to there is by building resilient local communities. Transition Ferndale supports all efforts in this direction.
Transition Ferndale once a month hosts public meetings and discussions at the library on this theme. For the April meeting, we have several groups in Ferndale that are all working in the direction of developing local resources and building community. They are all looking for more participants. They are all worth our support.
Everyone’s reasons for taking this experimental path are not exactly the same as the Transition movment’s. That’s fine, because doing the experiment is much more important than having a perfect understanding in advance of how it’s going to turn out.
The Ferndale Environmental Sustainability Commission is holding events every day for the week before Earth Day. This meeting is part of that Earth Week project. See their FaceBook page for details of the rest of the week’s events:
Art Myatt