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20th North Coast Bioneers
Bioneers Confer on North Coast
"Revolution from the Heart of Nature" is the theme of the North Coast Bioneers coming to the Caspar Community Center this weekend. The conference starts on Friday morning with plenaries relayed by satellite to Caspar and five North American university sites from the Bioneers Conference in San Rafael. Three days of workshops, games, and deliberation will relate plenary topics to local issues. John Todd, Greg Watson, Jeanne Actherberg, Katsi Cook, and Paul Hawken will give the Friday morning plenary addresses beginning at 9am by simulcast in Caspar
Afternoon workshops will address matters of specific local interest. On Friday, starting at 2pm the Future of the Fort Bragg Mill will be discussed by Fort Bragg City Council member Dan Gjerde, Rich Mack, and Meg Patterson. At the same time, members of the Caspar Community including Mike Dell'Ara, Judy Tarbell, and Michael Potts will lead a workshop on Reinventing Community. At 4 pm Don Lipmanson, Cal Winslow, Nancy Barth will lead a panel on Affordable Housing and Sustainable Development, while Marcia Sloane will conduct a TaKeTiNa Rhythm Circle. In the Youth Tent all afternoon, youth organizers Jessica Curl and Josh Morcell will be facilitating a conclave of North Coast Youth in a discussion of community.
Friday evening's dinner, served at 6pm by Raymond Thoya, benefits Africa's Thoya-Oya Children's Center. At 7pm there will be a free merengue dance lesson presented by Caspar treasures Dalen Anderson and Paul Schulman, followed at 8pm by a Calypso Dance with Kevin and the Coconuts and The RhythMystics to benefit Caspar Community Center.
After the 9am Saturday Plenary broadcast featuring Fritjof Capra, Jeannette Armstrong, Larry Dossey, Bogaletch Gebre, and Sebatião Salgado, afternoon workshops starting at 2pm include, in the Youth Tent, Scott Metzler on Poetry Performance, and a "Coming to our Senses" nature walk on the Caspar Headlands led by Erica Fielder. Also Saturday afternoon, Willits herbalist Donna d'Terra will conduct a workshop on Eco-logical Herbs, and Henry Gundling and Darcy Mahoney will lead a field trip and discussion about Sustainable Forestry. Both field trips will accommodate only a limited number, and so pre-registration is advised at CasparCommons.org or 964-4997.
Sunday plenaries again commence at 9am. Attendees are urged to arrive in time to be seating when the addresses start. Andrew Kimbrell, Sylvia Earle, Jeremy Narby, Naomi Klein, and Aqeela Sherrills will speak. Afternoon sessions starting at 2pm focus on Privatization and Exportation of Water with Toni Rizzo, Linda Perkins, and Fred Euphrat, and Cancer Awareness with Judy Brady and Marc Lappe, while in the Youth Tent, youth organizers Jessica Curl and Josh Morcell continue the parlay on community. At a closing ceremony at 4pm, the First Annual North Coast Bioneers Lifetime Achievement Award "for active dedication to a healthy environment" will be presented to Peg Frankel.
Again for the third year, the Bioneers Conference in San Rafael has sold out its $200 weekend tickets (although limited access $75 day tickets may still be available.) The Caspar sessions may sell out in its first year, and so pre-registration, either through secure on-line application at CasparCommons.org or by calling the Caspar Community Center at 964-4997, is suggested. General admission to the Caspar gathering is $20 a day, or $40 for all three days. Seniors and Student admission is $15 a day or $30 for all three days. There are opportunities for volunteers to gain entrance in return for work. Plenaries will be received by live satellite downlink from 9am to 1pm daily. Workshops will be held from 2pm to 6pm daily.
Bioneers Board member Belvie Rooks is responsible for bringing the satellite event to the coast. She explains why Caspar and the North Coast were favored with this first-ever community remote, "For years, the North Coast has sent a big delegation to Marin, so we knew there was a good audience here for the solutions oriented dialogue flowing from Bioneers. We're challenged to get the information out to larger and larger numbers of people, and thought that one way was to hold community and university sessions. Because of the kind of pioneering and visionary planning that the Caspar community is engaged in, we really wanted it to be our first community satellite site. Hopefully, next year we'll also be able to do an Oakland site and a couple of international sites as well. It's all about deepening and expanding the dialogue."
Resident organizer Marla Greenway says that getting all the details together in such a short time has led her to many long days on the telephone. "But it couldn't be done anywhere else. The coastal spirit of intelligent inquiry and cooperation makes for fertile ground. I know that those who come to this weekend's events will leave with a renewed spirit of community. So be sure to carpool, and we hope to see you there."
written by Michael Potts for the Mendocino Beacon, 17 October 2002
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