Sunday, March 21, 1999 10:55:05 PM
From: GSBN@...,Txinfinet Incoming
Subject: Digest for 3/21/99
-> Re: GSBN: Is it at a crossroads?
by Strawnet@...
-> Re: GSBN: Is it at a crossroads?
by Mark Piepkorn <duckchow@...>
-> Re: GSBN: Is it at a crossroads?
by matts a myhrman <biwb@...>
-> Re: GSBN: Is it at a crossroads?
by Joyce Coppinger <jc10508@...>


Date: 21 Mar 1999 04:04:11 -0600
From: Strawnet@...
Subject: Re: GSBN: Is it at a crossroads?

From the ICC code change hearings in California, a voice in the
wilderness (ok, so Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach aren't exactly

David Eisenberg here, and I agree with Bruce. This is a good and
important network whether the traffic is high or not. I'm glad to have
it both to keep up with what people are doing and to have the vehicle
when we need to communicate with everyone who's on this list. We'll send
our money (is it $20?) to make sure it continues.

And just a little update on the codes work here, I had a great
conversation today with Jon Traw, President of ICBO who, it turns out,
had just been talking with Bob Fowler about sustainability and code
issues during their trip to Cairo, Egypt for the World Organization of
Building Officials (WOBO) meeting. He was very positive when I spoke
with him about my idea of our doing a joint grant proposal with the model
code organizations for funding to begin a process of making the codes
more sustainable and he said that if I put it in a letter to him, he'd
present it to the International Code Council. He added that if they
aren't ready or willing to do it, he and ICBO are. He said he thought it
would be a great step in the right direction. We'll be trying to find a
little more time to talk this week at the hearings, and I'm hoping Bob
Fowler can join us to talk about these things. Very cool!

That's all for now.


David Eisenberg
Development Center for Appropriate Technology
P.O. Box 27513
Tucson, AZ 85726-7513
(520) 624-6628
(520) 798-3701 fax
(email address removed)(direct personal e-mail)

Check out the feature articles on Alternative Materials and Methods of
Construction in ICBO's Sept/Oct 1998 Building Standards Magazine. It's
all online - linked from our website or go to:
Click on the "Features and Articles" section and scroll down to find


Date: 21 Mar 1999 14:28:12 -0600
From: Mark Piepkorn <duckchow@...>
Subject: Re: GSBN: Is it at a crossroads?

At 10:28 AM 3/21/99 -0800, it was written offlist:
>Tell us where to send the check.

Last time, we just sent our checks made payable to Sustainable Sources,
mailed to 108 Royal Way - Suite #1004, Austin TX 78737. Does that still
work for Bill, Bill? (Who must not be making big bags of money... $20 a
month is insanely cheap for an on-staff expert.)

Far's money goes, I seem to recall discussion that people sent what they
could, similar to the CASBA membership structure. Some people didn't send
money because they couldn't or because they weren't even asked for it.
Extra funds for testing there were none, let's hope for that state of
affairs to change.

I'm sending the $20 I promised on my own behalf. Catherine's out of town
and I won't speak for TLS without consulting her, but I'm confident enough
to say that it will be kicking in its $50 as well. I'll also try to
remember to bring up GSBN at the next STRAW meeting, even though it has its
own untrafficked list.

Freewheeling autonomous speculation - Think!
I'm off the clock and on my own time, dig?
Mark Piepkorn (f.k.a. M J Epko)
Kingston, New Mexico
Civilization is the progress toward a society of
privacy. The savage's whole existence is public,
ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is
the process of setting man free from men.
- Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead


Date: 21 Mar 1999 16:41:58 -0600
From: matts a myhrman <biwb@...>
Subject: Re: GSBN: Is it at a crossroads?

Judy Knox here...

I think...other than the wonderful and courageous Last Straw...the GSBN
holds out more potential for high level communication and exchange of
ideas and information than anything else...and these are essential
elements to our vibrant, participatory straw-bale community.

I just reviewed my electronic GSBN file, and found a great deal of high
level discourse over the year, including some very concrete solicitations
for help and information that were anwered quickly with in-depth
information from around the globe.

I have no qualms about the degree of traffic...we'll become more adept at
using this vehicle as time goes on.
Our $100 is in the mail!

On Fri, 19 Mar 1999 22:53:38 -0700 Mark Piepkorn
<duckchow@...> writes:
>Hey all -
> So what's the consensus about GSBN? Is it worthwhile? Is it
>filling a
>need? Could and should anything be different?
> The reason I ask is this: The list isn't free to operate - we
>gladly pay
>Bill Christensen, the premier greenbuilding webguy what there is, for
>service (supporting him just as he supports us)... and the first
>funding has been used up. Do we pony up for another year, or do we
>call it
> I vote for the former, and will contribute the amount of one
>month's worth
>of the service. (And I don't even remember how much that is. Bill, how
>is it?)
> I also think that the GSBN has much greater potential as a
>useful vehicle.
>I'm aware that several people here like the fact that it's lightly
>trafficked, and that's OK. We don't have to (and shouldn't) be the
>list... but I'm not sure what we're doing here. Could be that none of
>have anything worth saying - but I seriously doubt that.
> In conversation with Joyce Coppinger of the Straw Bale
>Association of
>Nebraska (a GSBN member - hi Joyce!) at the International Strawbale
>Conference last week, she expressed interest in seeing an
>coalition of regional groups... ostensibly, what we already are. I'd
>to encourage Joyce to take an active role in pursuing that, and
>that this list could be a primary vehicle - since that's what it was
>created for anyway.
> An active role could mean something as simple as contacting
>people once a
>month and asking them what's up. I don't know. Joyce, what did you
>have in
>mind? Does anybody else have any thoughts?
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Freewheeling autonomous speculation - Think!
> I'm off the clock and on my own time, dig?
> Mark Piepkorn (f.k.a. M J Epko)
> <duckchow@...>
> Kingston, New Mexico
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> 'Cause when love is gone there's always justice,
> and when justice is gone there's always force,
> and when force is gone there's always Mom. Hi Mom!
> - Laurie Anderson, O Superman
>For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN
>list, send email to (email address removed)with HELP in the
>SUBJECT line.

You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at
or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]


Date: 21 Mar 1999 16:43:00 -0600
From: Joyce Coppinger <jc10508@...>
Subject: Re: GSBN: Is it at a crossroads?

Mark and everyone,

In response to your message, I've inserted comments below preceded by
- ------. Joyce Coppinger

So what's the consensus about GSBN? Is it worthwhile? Is it filling a
need? Could and should anything be different?

- ----Seems to me that GSBN is worthwhile and fills one of the needs of
the sb community -- communication between sb organizations and global
efforts. I'm not sure it could or should be anything different, but I'd
like to share a few thoughts about the development of SBAN and suggest
ways in which state, regional or other associations might aid or benefit
through GSBN -- and TLS.

- ----SBAN (The Straw Bale Association of Nebraska) has been in existence
for one year now, starting in January 1998 and gaining 152 members in 16
states and 1 foreign country by December 1998. Most of the members have
ties to Nebraska (former residents, relatives living in the state, etc.)
but many just wanted to find a group to affiliate with in order to
network and be part of the sb community. Our members come from Alaska,
Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Msassaschusetts, Maryland,
missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, new Mexico, South Dakot, South
Australia, Texas, Virginia, Wyoming.

- ----SBAN is a grassroots organization -- mostly owner/builders or people
who want to build their own sb home, garage, farm or ranch buildling, or
public use building (e.g.,there are two such projects in the works in
Nebraska); we only have a few members who are architects or contractors,
no engineers as yet. Because we're grassroots and most people are
interested in sb as a way of building affordably, we've set our
membership dues at $12/calendar year. We use this money to fund the
quarterly newsletter (The Baling Wire), pay for advertising to promote
membership, and cover expenses.

- ----At the present time, we're setting up a more formal structure, i.e.,
Executive Committee formed by chairperson of each committee
(Membership/Promotion and a Webpage Subcommittee, Finance/Development,
Resource Library/List, Newsletter). We're trying to get the members
involved in the association -- I can't do it alone and it needs to
become interactive through participation by the members in all aspects
of the association's activities and development. The Executive
Secretary/Director (Joyce Coppinger) and all committee chairs and
members are unpaid volunteers. We have adopted a mission statement and
are currently finalizing statements of committee responsibilities,
prioritizing goals and activities based on a survey sent to all members,
and setting a budget for 1999/2000 and goals for membership and
fundraising to support the goals and activities.

- ----We are at a crossroads in this process of development -- trying to
determine if (1) we can go under an umbrella 501(c)(3) organization
which could manage membership, fundraising, budget and financial
reporting, or (2) set up our own 501(c)(3) and consider paying the
Executive Secretary/Director, a CPA, an Attorney to manage the
organization, (3) or other options. We are also at a crossroads in
terms of benefits we can offer for a $12 calendar year membership fee --
do we (1) raise dues level, (2) seek grants or raise money for an
endowment to support the association for the long-term, (3) expand our
membership by bringing other associations together to form a larger base
group. If SBAN is a non-profit or finds an umbrella 501(c)(3), we could
also begin to raise money for project development, programs and other
activities which would further the revival in Nebraska and other states
where we have members or in which we have affiliations with other sb

- ----At the CASBA Conference, I talked with Jeff Ruppert about combining
a Colorado SB association with SBAN to form a regional sb group serving
the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains states (west of the Mississippi).
There is a lot of naturally occurring interaction and networking among
residents of all of these states, and the professional architects and
engineers in Colorado as well as owner/builders would be a great asset
to SBAN and its membership. I have received contacts from people in the
Midwest (Illinois, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio,
Indiana) and suggested in a conversation with Darron Port at the CASBA
Conference that he include these states in a regional group to include
New York and perhaps other eastern state which he was thinking about
developing. Sallie Hamilton started the Mid-States SB Association and we
teamed up last year to try to serve the states of Missouri, Oklahome,
Arkansas, and some of those mentioned above. I think GSBN should
continue as a network for these and other associations as they develop
and grow.

- ----It would be great to have monthly updates from all of the
associations and groups which are GSBN members, so that we keep in touch
and share developments on a regular basis. Maybe we could accomplish
this by sending out a monthly reminder message like we receive from
Willing Workers and other list serves. That way it would be up to the
individuals who represent the associations to contribute monthly updates
to GSBN, without adding to Catherine and Mark's current workload, and
getting the GSBN members involved in regular communications.

- -----I'd gladly pay up for another year so SBAN can continue to be
involved with SBAN. What's the fee again? (I probably didn't pay up for
1998 -- I have been using my personal funds to support SBAN during its
first year, having no significant amount of SBAN funds accumulated until
late in 1998.)

Mark wrote: In conversation with Joyce Coppinger of the Straw Bale
Association of Nebraska (a GSBN member - hi Joyce!) at the International
Strawbale Conference last week, she expressed interest in seeing an
international coalition of regional groups... ostensibly, what we
already are. I'd like to encourage Joyce to take an active role in
pursuing that, and suggest that this list could be a primary vehicle -
since that's what it was created for anyway.

- ----I'm still interested in this (as you can tell from my comments
above) and will gladly volunteer to help contact other associations to
see what would be helpful or of interest to them as well. I'm also
willing to help other organizations get started and would gladly share
my experiences with anyone who's starting an organization.

- ----I've talked briefly with Pete Gang about how CASBA operates and is
organized (you guys and gals are much more professionally involved than
the SBAN members at present). And I also talked with Duncan Echelson
about SBAT to see how they're organized, what their meetings are like,
etc. (seems they're more localized than SBAN is and can meet regularly;
it's more difficult when members are spread out over a region or several
states -- which is why the newsletter is so important to SBAN). While
each association may be formed differently, have different goals and
activities, etc., I think there is a lot we can share and gain from
becoming more interactive and exchanging information regularly.
- ----One additional comment about communication and networking: I
personally find TLS a very valuable publication for my own personal use
and recommend that SBAN members also subscribe. But many of the members
don't subscribe to TLS. At times the topics which SBAN members want to
have included in our newsletter (The Baling Wire) have been or are being
covered in TLS, too. I've talked with Mark Piepkorn about the crediting
TLS for articles or excerpts which are reprinted in The Baling Wire, and
provide a complimentary copy of The Baling Wire to TLS so that items or
articles can be reprinted in TLS. I think Mark's probably talked with
other associations about sharing articles and excerpts similarly.

- ----One other idea: If we could offer TLS issues as part of our
membership benefits by buying TLS at a reduced cost (but at a higher
level of paid for issues than we could get people to subscribe to) and
mail it to our members with our SBAN newsletter inserted into TLS, we
could reduce our newsletter in content to include regional information
and sharing about issues and conditions which affect us locally, while
we provide further support to TLS in a financial way and help reduce our
association's costs so we can keep our membership fees at a reasonable
level for those who want to participate as members.

- ----The Baling Wire accepts advertising from architects, consultants
such as myself, contractors, draftsmen, hay and bale dealers,
distributors of steel framing, recycled content products. We also offer
a free year's subscription The Baling Wire to hay and bale dealers who
join SBAN, so we can set up a network of suppliers and encourage growers
to bale to our specifications, and keep them posted about the
added-value market we are developing for them. (Note: all four issues
are received by SBAN members regardless of when they subscribe during
the calendar year, as our membership is based on a calendar year and all
memberships expire in December.) In addition, they are included in a
resource list which is shared as a free handout at workshops and events
planned through SBAN and through Re:Build Associates.

- ----I'd like to encourage TLS to consider taking advertisements as a
means of support for a quality publication of value to the straw bale
community, in addition to charging for listing in the resource guide
issue. I feel this would be another way of lending support to TLS while
helping those in the business of developing and building straw bale
structures. SBAN's ad rates are not intended to make a profit, but to
cover the costs of the publication.

- ----One further comment: I think a continuing dialogue through GSBN
about testing projects, codes, structural design, stucco and plaster and
all of the other items we listed a while back which should and could be
researched and developed would be very beneficial to SBAN members and
other associations as well. It would help bring us into the established
community and help us learn from what has already been done as well as
directing us to opportunities to make a contribution for our regional
needs or conditions.

- ----As I said above, GSBN is valuable and I hope it continues, and I'll
be glad to help in whatever way I can.

Joyce Coppinger
Re:Build Associates and The Straw Bale Association of Nebraska


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