Talking with the Hombres of Bici Libre

I dropped by the Bici Libre space yesterday afternoon and did a couple of interviews. Bici Libre is the latest name for what was called the Bike Wrangler after it was previously called the Bike Acquisition Czar. The space is somewhat similar to the Bicycle Kitchen (if you’re completely unfamliar with the L.A. bike co-ops watch this Streetfilm), which started at L.A. Eco-Village… though Bici Libre has a specific mission to recover abandoned/donated bikes and make them available to low-income folks at risk for obesity.

Bici Libre run by two of the silliest eco-villagers: Jonny Green and Bobby Gadda. They work for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, in a program of the 6+ bike organization County Cycling Collaborative, which is a part of the County Public Health RENEW initiative.

Above is a brief interview with Gil Maldonado, a Bici Libre volunteer who was fixing up a bike today (sorry for my poor Spanish, and even poorer sub-titling.) Below is an interview with Bobby and Jonny.

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Diana Leafe Christian Ecovillage Talk Feb. 22

If you haven’t heard Diana’s talk before, don’t miss this one.  OR if you have heard it, you won’t want to miss this one either, because it’s new and better than ever!

Ecovillages: Where They Are, What They’re Doing, Why They’re Important
Diana Leafe Christian (in person)

Diana Leafe Christian

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm
at L.A. Eco-Village
117 Bimini Pl, LA 90004  directions

Fee: $10 to $5 (sliding scale)
Reservations required: crsp@igc.org or 213/738-1254

With over 400 photos, this slide show demonstrates how ecovillages worldwide integrate ecological, economic, and social/cultural/spiritual sustainability, through:

• Permaculture design
• International peace activism
• Natural building
• Service to populations in need
• Renewable energy/off-grid power
• Local currencies
• Alternative technology
• On-site cottage industries
• Sustainable agriculture
• Participatory decision-making
• Earth-restoraton projects
• Conflict resolution & communication skills

WHY people are devoted to developing ecological settlements.
HOW ecovillages are beneficially influencing the wider culture.
HOW ecovillages will probably affect patterns of human settlement in the near future.

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Ecovillager Opens New Coffee Shop, Local Caffeine Addicts Rejoice

The heights of local commerce

Ecovillager Angel Orozco and his partners in Cafecito Orgánico have opened a new storefront at Hoover and Bellevue, just under the 101 freeway from LAEV. It’s about a 20 minute walk from here, and a 5-8 minute bike ride.

With ample patio seating and a simple operation indoors, this new coffee shop really adds to the neighborhood. I visited twice last Friday, once to meet with other ecovillagers and talk policy, and once to meet with activist friends and work on a bike project. Each time I noticed plenty of traffic through the shop, with stroller-pushing families, dogwalkers, and scruffy Silverlake dwellers all feeding their need for organic, LA-roasted coffee.

Our own Dr. Feelgood

There are tasty pastries too.

Details:

534 N. Hoover St.,
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Mon – Fri 6 am to 6 pm
Sat & Sun 7 am to 6 pm

Important employee info: They can’t charge you if you break it!

Just learned something very interesting. I was looking into whether employees can take back money from your paycheck if they accidentally overpay you. It turns out, they CAN’T! At least, not in California.

Not only that, but they also can’t charge you for the cost of items if you accidentally break them (gross negligence excepted), and also can’t charge you for any cash drawer shortfall unless they can prove it was due to a dishonest act, AKA stealing from the till.

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_Deductions.htm

Los Angeles Beaming Bioneers Oct 16-18, 2009 Downtown

Flyer for Oct 16-18 Bioneers Conference in Los Angeles www.labeaming.org

Flyer for Oct 16-18 Bioneers Conference in Los Angeles http://www.labeaming.org

October 16 – 18, 2009 at The Downtown Independent Theater (251 S. Main St., LA 90012)

BIONEERS: REVOLUTION FROM THE HEART OF NATURE
Go here for details:  http://labeaming.org/

OCTOBER 16, 17 and 18

Project Butterfly, Electric Lodge, Evolution Jewels and Downtown Independent bring you
the
1st Bioneers Conference Simulcast in LA!

Featuring:

LIVE SIMULCAST FROM THE BIONEERS CONFERENCE OF 15 PLENARY PRESENTATIONS:

HEADLINING THIS YEAR’S EVENT ARE NATIONALLY PROMINENT LUMINARIES, SOME OF WHOM INCLUDE:

Andrew Weil M.D.:
the nation’s foremost authority on holistic medicine, is author of numerous books including international bestsellers, Spontaneous Healing and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health.

Michael Pollan:
one of the most influential thinkers on food and agriculture, award-winning author of bestsellers including The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, and most recently In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.

Joanna Macy:
a celebrated Buddhist teacher, author, co-philosopher and activist in the peace, justice, and ecology movements.

Jerome Ringo:
president of the Apollo Alliance, and the first African-American to head a major conservation organization, the National Wildlife Federation, Ringo will stress the imperative of creating fair jobs that are healthy for people and the planet.

+ Many Others    L.A. Eco-Village is a co-sponsor of this event
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Celebrating Angel and His Coffee

Roast Baby Roast! Angel - photo by Jessica Ritz from LA Weekly website

Roast Baby Roast! Angel Orozco - photo by Jessica Ritz from LA Weekly website

This week’s L.A. Weekly features eco-village’s own coffee roaster, the “thoughtful goateed 34-year old” Angel Orozco and his Cafecito Organico business.  Try out his “stimulus package” at the Silver Lake Farmers Market, Saturdays 8am to 1pm at the triangle mini-park where Griffith Park Boulevard meets Sunset Boulevard.

Click here or on the photo to read the full article!

Future Space for Creative Scavenging?

Scavenged ObjectsFederico, Yuki and I got together to discuss some possibilities for a project that we’ve discussed before: a space for scavengers. Right now, this is just an idea that we’re kicking around, but we’re hoping that it will become a real place… soon.

Here’s what it might look like: a storefront which displays all sorts of materials that would have gone to a landfill had we not diverted them. It could include: fabric, clothing, buttons, boards, paper, office supplies, some electronics, art supplies… you name it. Items are very cheap, sometimes free – probably sold by the pound or by the bag. Volunteers help accept, sort and catalog donations. Workshops are held that get people’s creativity flowing.

How it might work: the space could be run by volunteers and/or a few paid staff. It might be a non-profit, a cooperative, a business, or some other kind of structure. It seems like it can make enough money to run itself, with all the materials that will be donated at no cost, then selling items will bring in some funds.

Where it would be: there’s a need for some kind of storefront somewhere. We’re thinking it would be relatively close to the L.A. Eco-Village. Perhaps in one of the vacant storefronts at a nearby strip mall. Ultimately it might also incorporate some outdoor space, where we could store and distribute mulch, urbanite, compost, etc.

What people do elsewhere: Here are some links to some similar sites (definitely not an exhaustive list!) We don’t want to necessarily copy or compete with or franchise these… but they give some ideas as to what the space might resemble. We can draw inspiration and ideas from them:

Bike Cooperatives – all over!
The Bike Kitchen (which started in the kitchen of unit 110 at L.A. Eco-Village), BikeRoWave, and the Bike Oven are examples of community spaces where folks learn to repair bicycles – often giving new life to old parts from donated discarded bikes.

The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse – Oakland, CA
EBDfCR promotes solid waste diversion and resource conservation by collecting and redistributing reusable materials for education, arts & crafts, and other creative projects.

Free Geek – Portland, OR (and other locations)
Free Geek recycles and refurbishes used technology. They provide computers, education, and job skills training to volunteers in exchange for their service.

The Long Beach Depot for Creative Reuse

A local space modeled after San Francisco’s SCRAP and the East Bay Depot for creative ReUse in Oakland. We sure owe them a visit.

Ohmega Salvage – Berkeley, CA
Ohmega Salvage buys and sells unusual building materials, in order to preserve architectural heritage.

Rebuilding Center – Portland, OR
The Rebuilding Center sells used building and remodeling materials and furniture. It provides resources that make home repairs affordable to everyone, with the goal of promoting reuse.

The RE Store – Seattle and Bellingham, WA
The RE Store sells used building materials, and provides mobile removal services.

SCRAP (the School and Community Reuse Action Project) – Portland, OR
This SCRAP inspires creative reuse and environmentally sustainable behavior by providing educational programs and affordable materials.

SCRAP (Scroungers Center for Reusable Art Parts) – San Francisco, CA
This SCRAP is a creative reuse center, store and workshop space. They work with textiles, paper, jewelry findings, wood, buttons and plastics.

Tinker’s Workshop – Berkeley, CA
Tinker’s Workshop educates people on repairing and creating tools, bikes, and machines.

Urban Ore – Berkeley, CA
Urban Ore works to end the age of waste by advocating and developing total recycling. They receive unwanted things and sell them as-is for reuse.

How you can help: If you’ve read this far, maybe you’re interested in getting involved? We’re looking for a few intrepid souls to help get this thing off the ground… though we do want to work in a collective, non-hierarchical way as much as possible. If you’re interested, make a comment below.

(Note: though it lists Joe as the author, this entry was a collaboration between Federico, Yuki, and Joe.)