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Re: [SB-r-us] Re: GSBN:netting, fibers, geotextiles, etc.

>> but how we would ever substantiate that by test, and then sell it to 
>> the
>> grim-faced building officials, is beyond me right now.
>> why that's for you to figure out, isn't it, eh Bruce????

I've a semi-related thought, for what it's worth:
Back in October, our Congressman, George Miller, paid a visit to our SB
house-in-progress site.  He had seen an article in the local Sunday paper
about our strawbale house, the baleraisings, and how the building process
was galvanizing and building community.  I did some research on him - he's
apparently been in the legislature for over 20 years, following in his
father's footsteps.  He's really down-to-earth, has his roots in community
issues, is pretty liberal, and has simultaneously positioned himself well.
 Meaning, he has garnered a lot of respect through the years and has
pretty significant power.

He is very interested in "alternative" building and when he saw the
article, he wanted to go out and meet the folks who were doing it, and see
the site for himself.  He has asked to be contacted when the house is done.

Before his visit, we kind of scrambled to figure out what kind of
propaganda we could give him about SB. Janet Johnston tried to get
feedback from CASBA Board members, but I think it was the same weekend
they held their workshop, and the attempt kinda fell through the cracks.

Haven't been able to put too much thought into his future visit with all
the house building going on right now (we passed inspection today, so
stucco is on for Monday!!), but I've got some ideas for his visit/house
tour/house party, and to raise and communicate some issues that would
further and support the SB building effort.  

I didn't do it on purpose, but I happen to have some other convenient
political ties - Tom Bates, my former boss, former CA Assemblyman (for
over 20 years), current Mayor of Berkeley, and his wife Loni Hancock, who
just got elected to the CA State Assembly.  Loni's daughter and partner
bought some land up near Guinda, CA, and are planning on building a SB
house.  Tom, Loni, their daughter & partner  have some personal investment
and interest in SB and they've all been out on a field trip to our site
already.  They've also got some personal interest and investment in me, so
the situation has some potential.  It always boils down to

Anyway, Bruce's comment about how to sell those "grim-faced" building
officials reminded me of my somewhat buried thoughts about finding out
what are some of the more important issues that might help further this
kind of building along on a policy level, if any, and what sort of venue
to best present these to Tom, Loni, George, and any other cool friends of

This "event" thing wouldn't be happening for a while, and maybe I'm naive
in hoping there might be some opportunity here, but hey, what the heck, I
wouldn't have started this whole SB house thing if there wasn't a healthy
dose of naivite thrown in there. 

Tom and I worked together a few years ago on getting school children
better food and nutrition.  We helped get the Berkeley School District a
million dollar federal grant to get approx. 5,000 kids school gardens and
organic cooking classes and field trips to the farmers' market and farms. 
Now he's Mayor and I'm still managing the grant, 3 million dollars later.  

I guess I figure what's the worst that can happen by getting Tom, Loni and
George together around SB?   After all, it's all related...where our food
and shelter resources come from....

Any thoughts are welcome -


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