Its Christmas Time and things are really slowing down here. People are leaving in droves and several who have been here for a while.
2008 has been a rough year for the foundation financially as the recession really impacted the sale of bells. This has led to a hiring freeze across the departments and also reduced staff to run the bakey and agriculture department.
After much discussion, the foundation did receive a significant amount (about 180k) of money from a group of Europeans who pooled their money to purchase one of Soleri’s Arcology Scrolls. Much of this though went to pay off credit card debts which had been building as bell sales lagged behind past years expectations.
On Tuesday in construction, we poured another wall in the latest panel that we installed to shore up the area below the pool.
Its Kyle’s first paid week in construction. Jae who volunteered in construction for several weeks after his workshop has now left.
I am considering taking off a month or so to help mom who is going through a rough time with her divorce.
Agriculture meeting – The agriculture department in particular has created as bit of controversy as there are concerns in the community that having someone working in the greenhouse for less that 40 hours means that the garden will fall into disrepair and the gains made from Maggie’s effort (the agriculture manager who is leaving) will evaporate, particularly the 60 or so chickens that now make Arcosanti almost self-reliant in egg production. On tuesday we had a meeting on this matter this included news that Roger Tomalty who is one of the workshop instructors and is an expert in greenhouse farming will be working in the greenhouse one day a week. Roger and Mary (his wife who is also the Arcosanti site Coordinator) discussed their plan to have Roger work in the experimental greenhouses to get them going in a effective and productive way again. yet there was some skepticism about whether Roger working one day a week could actually what they stated as their goals. Regardless my thoughts is that it is important to get an effective food production system going at Arcosanti for several reasons:
- Making the site more self-sufficient in food is central to the purpose of an Arcology
- Some consideration needs to be given to the impact of adverse economic and social conditions and the possibility that more local food production would be necessary.
- If Arcology is to be viable in the desert we need to show how a system can be designed to efficiently manage limited water resources in the desert.
Community Council/ALT – Every month we have a combined community council ALT (Arcosanti Leadership Team) meeting. This month we focused on housing policies which recently created some controversy regarding whether when all occupants of a group space leave at same time within a month – the housing coordinator has the authority to decide who lives there. Also after some confusion and debate about the smoking policy we finally enacted the policy change which banned smoking at the bakey level seating area. The debate about general site smoking and in particular the EC 1 porch is still very open to debate and a very contentious issue.
Community Council – We also had a community council meeting in which we discussed the upcoming Cosanti Foundation board meeting on Jan 30th; an proposed event with DJ Dr Spook in Feb; and The need for more community input and review of Daily Progress; a recap of the agricultural meeting; and a suggestion that a housing coordinator be elected by the community.
Libby Hubbard (aka Doctress Neutopia), recently pointed me to Scott Davis’ new book called Arcosanti Inexperienced which he published at an online publishing site.