Hampshire County Health Dept. Meeting Room


January 9, 2014 Meeting

The meeting was opened at 7:00 pm by Tom Lewis, Convener, with 31 people in attendance.

Tom began the meeting by speaking to the urgency of the problems the group is tasked to prepare for, ie: climate change is accelerating, peak oil is here, water emergencies abound..  

New attendees were introduced.  A sign-up sheet was circulated for additions and corrections to the membership.

The minutes from the December 12, 2013 meeting, previously distributed by email, were approved with no changes.  

The meeting agenda previously distributed by email was approved.

Andy Herbaugh led a short discussion on Permaculture and it was agreed that this should be the topic of a future meeting presentation.

There was a discussion of the $25.00 spending limit on the checking account as delineated in the Bylaws.  Treasurer Steve Martin moved that the Bylaws be amended to change the limit to over $100.00 before a second signature is required.  The change was approved.  This was preceded by a vote to waive the required notice for a change to the bylaws.

Steve Martin presented a draft policy for conducting meetings.  A schedule was included  to give structure to our gatherings.  7-7:30 conduct business, 7:30 - 8 presentation of main topic, 8-8:30 committee reports, 8:30-9 pm committees meet.  These time frames would be flexible as needed.  Patricia Taylor moved that this framework be adopted.  The policy was approved.  

Tonight’s presentation was a live demonstration of the Sustainable Potomac Highlands website, presented by Vince Lombardi and Steve Martin.  It was stressed that the website is an active, collaborative effort, and anyone in the group can submit information for inclusion to Vince or Steve.  Committee leaders and board members can make changes directly to the site.  The blog and forum are open to all members’ comments.  

Standing Committee Reports:

Tom Lewis suggested that we will need to have coordination of many members, not just the presenting committee, to put on events.  Dale Brady suggested that a short-term committee be formed to put together a checklist to be used for planning and presenting any event, ie; what needs to be done when, what facilities are available, what costs are involved.  

Food - Windy Cutler passed out a sign-up sheet for possible workshops, presentations or field trips to be organized by the Food Committee.  This will be used as a basis for planning for the year.  Patricia Taylor reported that the Hog Butchering conducted by Isaac Lewis in December was a successful community project, and a worthwhile skill to possess.

Tom Lewis stated he would like to see a Local Food Banquet or Expo done sometime this year.

Health - Eva Taylor passed around a sign-up list, and scheduled a tentative meeting for 1/19/14 where planning for the next couple of months will take place.  The Fermentation Workshop held in December was a success.  She’ll be having a “chicken killing party” sometime in June.  

Energy - Frank Woodson also passed around a sign-up list, looking for members who want to be active on his committee, or just interested in keeping informed of the committee’s work.  He reported on his Energy Survey, for which he received 14 responses, which are on the webpage.  Main interests were Wind Energy, Biomass, and Hybrid Electric Vehicles.  He’ll be making updates to the website.  

Finance - Steve Martin reports the resource maps on Google Maps are being worked on.  He’s doing research on Sustainable Investing (socially responsible investments)  Randall Ashelman            

offered information on State Banks.  North Dakota has a state bank, and 15 other state legislatures are investigating this option for keeping money in a state, rather than investing in Wall Street.

Communications - Vince Lombardi stated that the SPH website is a work in progress, as shown in his presentation.  He is also concerned that Emergency Preparedness needs to be addressed in future presentations.  

At 8:30 the main meeting was adjourned, followed by individual committee meetings and social time.  

The next meeting is February 13, 2014, 7:00 pm at the Health Dept. Meeting Room, Augusta.  If anyone wants access to the room before that time, please contact Dorothy the day before.  

Submitted by Dorothy Kengla

Acting Secretary

February 20, 2014 Meeting

The meeting was opened at 7:05 pm by Tom Lewis, Convener, with 26 people present.  

Five new attendees were introduced.  A sign-up sheet was circulated for additions and corrections to the membership.  

The minutes from the January 9, 2014 meeting were distributed by email previously, and approved.  

Tom Lewis suggested that the business section of the meeting be passed over so that more time could be devoted to the evening’s topic, a presentation on Permaculture by Andy Herbaugh and Josh Stainthorp.  All present agreed to this.

The Permaculture presentation began, with rapt interest from the assembled group.  Andy and Josh covered the topic with much information and enthusiasm.  An edited transcript of this presentation will be posted on the website.

The next SPH meeting is March 13.  The topic will continue the discussion of Permaculture, with Andy and Josh presenting.

The April 10 meeting will focus on Solar Power, presented by Tom Lewis and Frank Woodson.

There is a Webinar on alternative finance available at

The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 pm., followed by individual committee meetings and social time.

Submitted by Dorothy Kengla

Acting Secretary

Link To March 1, 2014 Executive Committee Meeting Summary:

sph executive comm

Read Ahead Information for 3/1/14 Executive Committee Meeting

sph executive committee

March 13, 2014 Meeting Minutes

The meeting was opened at 7:05 pm. by Dale Brady, Deputy convener with 19 people in attendance.  Dale asked for a moment of silence in memory of Frank Woodson, who died on March 1.  Windy Cutler read a poem and Tim Reese spoke to his memory.  Frank was the enthusiastic Chair of the Energy committee.  Frank’s wife Janet and son Andrew were in

attendance and said that they will continue with the group.

The minutes of the Feb. 20 meeting, and the March 1 Executive Committee meeting are available on the website.

Steve Martin gave the Treasurer’s Report, with $80.00 from donations in the checking account.  There is a donation button on the website, where anyone can donate through a Dwolla account, in lieu of dues.

Steve Martin spoke about a USDA Strike Force event to be held the next day, Friday, March 14, at the South Branch Inn in Romney.  The focus of the event is to inform farmers and others as to what programs are available locally, such as help with high tunnels, conservation stewardship, farm loans, low-interest start up loans, cost share programs, etc.

Dorothy Kengla is setting up a calendar of events for the group, to list upcoming meeting topics, field trips, workshops, etc. to be added to the website calendar.  Let her know of any planned events.

Dale produced a handout condensing the 12 Steps of the Transition Model, which included the website address, and information on an EDAP (Energy Descent Action Plan).

Tim and Beth Reese talked about their plans for a field trip to their Tap Root Farm to observe the beginnings of a Permaculture plan, and construction of straw bale buildings.  A date will be set for a Saturday in late March or April.  

Tonight’s presentation was a continuation of Andy Herbaugh and Josh Stainthorp covering the topic of Permaculture.  They stressed that Permaculture is a holistic, integrated system that involves plants, animals, and the community.  It is not just a production system but involves land use and community planning, care of the earth, care of people, return of the surplus, science and ethics.  It uses cooperation, not competition to reach goals.  Links available from the website such as are valuable resources of information on the topic.

Committee Reports

Food - Windy Cutler reports that there will be a film shown at the Romney Library on Tues., March 18, at 6:00 pm. on Community Gardens, followed by a discussion of the possibility of establishing a community garden in Romney.  There is a survey on the website reference gardening and poultry production.  Dan Hartsook suggested that French’s Mill be used as a clearinghouse for people wishing to borrow or exchange tools and equipment, or labor.  He hopes to have the mill garden center open in April.

Finance - Steve Martin is working on a presentation on socially responsible investing, for a future meeting.  Randall Ashelman is investigating state run banks.  

Communications - Vince Lombardi has been away for a while with family concerns.  Steve has been updating the website.

Energy - Tim Reese reports that Mountain View Solar will present information at the April meeting on solar and wind energy, and that it is not a sales pitch for the company.  

Shelter - Jeremy Mich is at a cob building workshop, and will present information at a future meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 pm. with the next meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 10, 2014.  The meeting room will be opened at 6:30 pm, with the meeting beginning at 7:00 pm.

Submitted by Dorothy Kengla

Acting Secretary

April 10, 2014 Meeting Minutes

The meeting was opened at 7:00 pm. by Tom Lewis, Convener, with 22 people in attendance.  Tom mentioned several recent news stories relevant to the Transition Movement, including  “The days of cheap oil are behind us.  We’re in for a financial crash unlike any other”; “World oil production is not keeping up with demand”; a U.N report warning of climate change effects on world food supplies.  Check for references for these statements.  

Tom also recommended a series running on Showtime about climate change, “Years of Living Dangerously”.

Tonight’s presentation was on Solar Power.  Tim Reese introduced Colin Williams, a VP at Mountain View Solar of Berkeley Springs, WV who gave an interesting and informative overview of the use of Solar Energy for residential and commercial applications. The use of solar power grew by 24% in 2013 in the US.   Harnessing the sun’s energy to produce electrical power is based on the ability of photovoltaic cells in south-facing solar panels to change photons into electrons to produce DC, which is then sent through an inverter to become AC, usable in the home.  In WV, excess power produced by a solar installation is returned to the electrical grid, known as net metering, getting credit against future power draws at a 1 kw to 1 kw exchange rate.  Battery back-up is recommended for energy storage for power outages, or to live off-grid.  Solar is growing in WV because awareness is growing.  There’s also a 30% Federal tax credit available through 2016.  USDA REAP grants are available to help with solar installations for small businesses and farms.  For more information the website is:

After a short break the meeting continued with approval of the minutes of the March meeting, and the Agenda for tonight.  

Steve Martin gave the Treasurer’s Report, $70.00 in the checking account, and a donation of $100.00 from Dan Hartsook and French’s Mill.  

Steve reported on attending a USDA Meeting where Patty White of the Farm Service Agency gave information on the Conservation Stewardship Program to help farmers with funding for projects.  Interested parties must get on a list, submit a proposal for a conservation project, and as funding becomes available, items on the list are assisted.

Dale Brady reported on  She found that many workshops are available at the site, both online, or by phone.  Check the pull-down menus for lots of information, especially the “knowledge hub” for information on sub-groups.  Under /publications there is a lot of reading material available.

Committee Reports

Food - Windy Cutler reports that work on the Community Garden has begun.  Several people met on Saturday, April 5 at the location of the Pathways garden plot on Bolton Street in Romney to begin work.  The plot had been plowed but not disked, and was too wet for planting.  After taking measurements, soil samples, and checking soil temperature the group went to the Pathways office to continue the planning meeting indoors.  As soon as the soil dries some and can be disked, a planting date will be set.  Seeds and plants were donated by Southern States and Abundant Life greenhouse.  Plans are being made to have a sign installed at the location to encourage community participation.

Dale reports that the Romney Farmer’s Market will be located at the Wellness Center on Saturday mornings, and at the Bottling Works on Wednesdays.

Energy - Tim Reese will bring an example of white gas lanterns to the next meeting, to consider a possible group purchase.  

Transportation - Sarah Purol has listed many topics of study on the website, such as alternative fuels, biofuels, electric vehicles, market survey on electric vehicles, etc.  What sustainable source of vehicle fuel would be available if oil and gas are depleted?  Will we need to resort to human powered or animal powered means to get around?  Can we get a demonstration of a Mercedes that runs on biofuel at a future meeting?

Finance - Steve is preparing a presentation on Socially Responsible Investing for the May meeting.  Will try to include information on what is involved in an economic/ financial crisis/crash and how it impacts our personal preparedness.  

Beth Reese recommends a book titled “Making Home” about a family that lives sustainably.

Beth also reminded the group of the field trip to their Tap Root Farm on Sat. April 12, 2-4 pm. for a look at Permaculture planning, a straw bale/cob structure, solar installation and other farm activities.  

The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 pm.

The next meeting is May 8, 2014 at 7:00 pm. at the Health Dept. Meeting Room in Augusta, WV.

Submitted by Dorothy Kengla

Acting Secretary

May 8, 2014 Meeting Minutes

The meeting was opened at 7:05 pm. by Tom Lewis, Convener, with 14 people in attendance.

Tom noted the fact that climate change exists is now the policy of the US government in the National Climate Assessment.   It is impacting every region of the US, especially in the area of food production.  The world is dipping into its food reserves, with not enough being produced to feed the world.  Cattle, pigs, shrimp, coffee, vegetables are all being affected by drought and/or viruses.  Prices for all will be increasing.  We are preparing for the transition caused by climate change.

The minutes of the April meeting were approved, as well as the agenda for tonight’s meeting.  

Steve Martin reported the treasury has $170. plus $30. in the Dwolla donation account.

There was discussion of how to present various topics to the group as well as the general public.  Maybe a Saturday of several presentations, possible use of French’s Mill as a location were suggested. Tom and Dale Brady will work on a schedule of events.

A Charcuterie Workshop on pork preparation is planned for Thursday, May 15 at Hampshire High School, presented by Isaac Lewis.  Information will be sent to all members by Tom.

Tom will be attending the WV Highlands Climate Change Initiative conference on June 7.

A website of interest to the group is Frostburg Grows, which has topics such as high tunnels built on strip mining sites, grow boxes, rain collected from gutters.

Committee Reports

Food - Windy Cutler reported on the Community Garden started on Bolton Street in Romney in cooperation with Pathways.  A kitchen garden has been planted, including early crops such as lettuce, radishes, spinach, as well as corn and beans.  Tom is getting a sign made to identify the garden.    A canning workshop will be planned for July or August. Liason - Dale addressed the idea of “inner transitions” that will need to take place to deal with the changes that may come, to avoid possible depression. Skill sharing, and re-skilling workshops, food expo, knowing ways to take care of ourselves without relying on infrastructure will all help with sustainability and survival.

Steve Martin gave tonight’s presentation on Socially Responsible Investing, which prompted the group to consider how they are investing their money.  The presentation is available on the SPH website.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.  The next meeting is June 12, 2014 at 7:00 pm at the Health Dept. meeting room, Rt. 50, Augusta, WV.

Submitted by Dorothy Kengla

Acting Secretary

June 12, 2014 Meeting Minutes

The meeting was opened at 7:00 pm by Tom Lewis, Convenor, with 28 people present.  He addressed the topic of gas and oil reserves, in particular in Monterey, CA, where 60% of what was considered to be reserves are not accessible.  The estimates of what gas/oil could be available were extremely inflated.

The presentation for the meeting was on Beekeeping.  Brian Umstead gave an entertaining and educational talk on this aspect of agriculture where honeybees “chase the bloom” to gather nectar to make honey, and in the process provide the necessary step to pollinate crops.  He brought in samples of most of the equipment needed for beekeeping, saying that a starter set-up could be had for about $100.00.  He said that Hampshire and Mineral counties are excellent locations for beekeeping, and that new hives can be created by splitting out queens.  Mites and environmental chemicals brought into the hive are the biggest problems encountered.

Some references he gave were:  BeeLine, an Amish company that makes bee boxes and equipment;  the website; and the book Honeybee Democracy.  Brian’s email is, and he has honey for sale.  

After the presentation, the meeting continued with acceptance of the May 8 minutes, available on the website.  In the Treasurer’s absence, there was no treasurer’s report.  

Committee Reports

Communications - Vince Lombardi has added a listserve of all members with email addresses, so notices can be sent to the group.

Food - Dale Brady reported on the Charcuterie/Pork butchering workshop presented by Isaac Lewis on May 15.  Four or five people attended and learned how to make cuts from a pig in a very well presented demonstration.

Energy - Tim Reese showed two lanterns that run on kerosene, white gas or lamp oil.  One was available from Eastern Building Supply for about $10.00.  The other, much nicer version, he obtained online for about $40.00.  Both could serve as back-up lighting in a power outage.

Tim also mentioned talks that take place at the Star Theatre in Berkeley Springs periodically, with the schedule available on

Tom reported on attending the WV Highlands Climate Change Initiative meeting at Blackwater Falls, organized by Tom Rodd.  There were 165 attendees to hear from 16 presenters.  Research has been going on for years into the effects of climate change in our region.  This area is one of the most resilient ecosystems on the planet.  What’s coming for us is an intensification of the water cycle, more rain, shorter, more intense events, thus more flooding.

Tom mentioned the Showtime series “The Years of Living Dangerously” as an excellent source of information on climate change and it’s effects.  

There was discussion of how much group energy should be put into community outreach events, and how much into internal events.  There will be an Executive Committee meeting scheduled to talk about this.  

Water bath canning will be the topic of the July 10 meeting, 7:00 pm, Health Dept. Meeting Room, Rt. 50, Augusta, WV.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.

Submitted by Dorothy Kengla

Acting Secretary

July 10, 2014 Meeting Minutes

The meeting was opened at 7:05 pm by Tom Lewis, Convenor, with eight people present.  

New attendee Tom Kennedy discussed solar power system benefits.

Randall Ashelman talked about a Permaculture workshop they are planning for Sept. 26 & 27,  on their property in the Springfield area.  Bill Wilson is preparing a plan for their property and would hold a workshop there.

The August meeting will be changed from the 14th to the 21st due to the Hampshire County Fair and parade taking place on the 14th.  Tom Rodd will be the featured speaker at that meeting.

In Tom Lewis’s “resilience news”  he spoke of the dangers presented by the insecticide neonicotinoid.   According to the Global Review of Insecticide, the food supply of the world is threatened by this neurotoxin, which is applied to seeds, grows with the plant, and persists in soil and water.  It is a cumulative toxin that has the same effects as DDT.

Dale Brady reported on the Executive Committee meeting that was held on June 30, with three members attending.  Items discussed at that meeting were:

        - Public Events, when and how to do them, using a checklist for planning, using committees to plan and publicize events.

        - The Hampshire Library has agreed to be open on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, presenting an opportunity for the showing of relevant films that could attract the community.  Several films were discussed, including the “Years of Living Dangerously” series that was shown on Showtime.  Tom Kennedy agreed to purchase the series for the group when it is available.

        -  Attendance at meetings has decreased.  Contact needs to be made with those on the membership list to encourage attendance and find out the reasons if people are dropping out, and what members would like to see happening.  

        -  The group needs a simple brochure explaining who we are, when and why we meet, our website and facebook addresses to be given out at meetings to new attendees, and available for handout at public events.  Tom Lewis will prepare the brochure.

Tom Kennedy offered that he could present on the topic of light pollution/dark skies at a future meeting.

The presentation for the meeting was on Food Preservation, particularly on pressure and water bath canning methods and equipment.  Windy Cutler and Maureen Wysopol brought in an assortment of canners and equipment and did an excellent job explaining how each was used and for what types of food.  Included was information on freezing foods.  The need for using a guide book was stressed, with the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving being recommended, even for experienced canners.

The next meeting will be Thursday, August 21, 7:00 pm at the Health Dept. Meeting Room, Rt. 50, Augusta, WV with speaker Tom Rodd addressing Climate Change.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:25 pm.

Submitted by Dorothy Kengla

Acting Secretary

August 21, 2014 Meeting Minutes

The meeting was opened at 7:00 by Tom Lewis with 40+ people in attendance.  Tom summarized the beginning of Sustainable Potomac Highlands one year ago and noted progress that has been made within the group.

The featured speaker for the evening was Tom Rodd, director of the Allegheny Highlands Climate Change Impacts Initiative.  Associated with The Friends of Blackwater, he was one of the organizers of a climate change conference that took place in June that featured noted climatologists, biologists, scientists and others who have been studying the effects of climate change on West Virginia.  Mr. Rodd’s slideshow summarized the scientific material that was presented at the conference.  The next conference will be held October 16-18, 2015.  The website for further information is

Congratulations were extended to Robin Mills for the success of the petition that resulted in the referendum on recycling appearing on the Nov. 4 election ballot.  Members are encouraged to vote FOR recycling which should result in a county-wide recycling program.

The membership voted to sponsor and help publicize an event on Permaculture presented by Bill Wilson, coordinated by Patricia Taylor and Randall Ashelman, to take place on Saturday, September 27 at the Bank of Romney Community Center in Romney.  Anyone who has specific questions or issues related to Permaculture that they would like addressed at this event should forward them to Tom Lewis.  

It was agreed this would not take the place of the regularly scheduled SPH meeting on 9/11/14.

The Sept. 11 meeting will be conducted as an open space/circle meeting, with Dale Brady conducting it.  

Several people spoke about the social event that took place on August 16 at Vince Lombardi’s home, saying it was a great opportunity for socializing and sharing information.  More events like this would be welcomed.  

It was suggested that SPH start a place on the website for classified ads, ride-share requests, barter and tool exchanges, etc.  

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.

Next meeting is Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 7:00 pm.  The room will be open at 6:30.  Anyone who can arrive early to help with setting up the room is welcome.  

Submitted by Dorothy Kengla

Acting Secretary

September 11, 2014 Meeting Minutes

The meeting was opened at 7:05 pm. by Dale Brady with 28 people attending.  There were five new attendees who introduced themselves.  

Upcoming events:  On Saturday, Sept. 27, at 10:00 am, at the Bank of Romney Community Center there will be an introductory presentation on Permaculture by Bill and Becky Wilson hosted by Patricia Taylor and Randall Ashelman.  A potluck lunch will be included.  Let them know if there are any specific ideas you would like discussed.  An email will be sent asking for volunteers to help with set-up, etc.  

A demonstration of a Peterson’s portable sawmill will take place on Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Wagner family farm in Ft. Ashby.  Details are available on the SPH Facebook page.

Film presentations at the Romney library should start the third Thursday in October.  Tom Kennedy donated the series “Years of Living Dangerously”, and other titles are available.

With the resignation of Mike Kastre, Dorothy Kengla has agreed to serve as secretary until the next election.  A nominating committee will be appointed at the October meeting, with elections for 2015 to take place at the November meeting.

Tonight’s meeting was set up in a circle, based on the Open Space Technology and Circle Meeting concepts. This allowed each participant to see the others face-to-face while they described what their motivation was for joining the group, events that inspired them, what they hoped to see in the future with SPH and anything else they wanted to talk about.  

Dale suggested that we have some goals for future meetings; each person could pick an area of interest from the Transitions website.

Eva Taylor is putting together an email newsletter that could include things like ride-shares, bartering, giveaways, want ads, reviews of products, etc.  Send ideas to Eva.  

The meeting adjourned at 8:55 pm.  The next meeting is October 9, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

Submitted by Dorothy Kengla


October 9, 2014 Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by Tom Lewis, Convener, with 35 people in attendance.  

The featured speakers for the evening were Danny Chiotos, energy efficiency organizer for the WV chapter of the Sierra Club, and John Bird of Preston Energy Savers.  Mr Bird pointed out that home energy improvements were the most effective way to save energy.  He described many methods of obtaining a more energy efficient house, while still allowing for the necessary air exchange for a healthy home, such as:  caulking air leaks, outlet covers, water saver shower heads, water heater insulation, and using a power strip to shut off electronics that use phantom energy, among others.  Mr. Chiotos addressed issues related to power supply and the electrical grid.  

Group business included the selection of a nominating committee to present a slate of candidates for officers to be voted on at the November meeting.  Windy Cutler, Dan Hartsook and Andy Herbaugh will serve on this committee.  

There was discussion of the success (or not) of the various committees some of which have several members and have been active, and others have lost momentum.  The general consensus was that it may be better to have focus areas, where all members could participate in what interests them.  More ideas are needed from members, as well as lists of interests and skills, following the Permaculture principles of what is good for people, the earth and the community now and in the future.  

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.

The next meeting will be Thursday, November 13, 2014.  Tom Lewis will be the presenter, and elections will be held.

Submitted by Dorothy Kengla


November 13, 2014 SPH Meeting Minutes

A pre-meeting social/dinner time was held, with the doors opening at 6:00 pm. for anyone who wanted to bring their own dinner or something to share with others.  The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm. by Tom Lewis, convener, with 33 people in attendance.  Several guests were introduced.

Andy Herbaugh, representing the nominating committee, presented a slate of candidates, which included Dale Brady for convener, Tom Kennedy for treasurer and Dorothy Kengla for secretary.  Tim Reese nominated himself from the floor for co-convener after Tom Lewis declined.  With no further discussion, the slate of candidates was elected by acclamation, and will take office at the January 2015 meeting.

The December 11 meeting will be preceded by a potluck dinner at 6:00 pm. followed by the 7:00 meeting where the focus will be regrouping of ideas for the new year.

There have been two showings of episodes of the “Years of Living Dangerously” DVD series, at people’s homes.  Four of the nine episodes have been viewed.  Plans are being made for the next showing, possibly at Patricia Taylor’s Romney home.  No library showings have been scheduled.

Vince Lombardi talked about the Bright Center in Winchester, VA, including Bright Incubation, a center for leaders & entrepreneurs.

Beth Reese mentioned the Farmer’s Daughter Market, to open in Capon Bridge in the spring of 2015 in the building next to the Bank of Romney.

Tom Lewis gave the evening’s presentation, the topic being “Oil”.  Tom started by saying he was not an expert on oil, but an expert on information, a generalist.  He stressed that there is only so much oil in the world, and someday it will be gone.  According to the Hubbert Curve, US oil production peaked in 1970.  Demand currently outstrips production.  Many of the leading oil producing countries are unstable or in decline. Many countries subsidize oil prices in their markets.  Hydrofracking and tar sands production are only short term means of production, and their costs and waste of water and other resources don’t make them sustainable.  The conclusion of the IEA World Energy Outlook report (11/12/14) is that “The global energy system is in danger of falling short of the hopes and expectations placed upon it.”

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 pm.

The next meeting is Thursday, December 11, 2014 at the Hampshire County Health Dept. meeting room.  Doors open at 6:00 pm. for potluck dinner.  Meeting at 7:00 pm.

Submitted by Dorothy Kengla


December 12, 2014 Meeting Minutes

Doors were opened at 6:00 pm for a pre-meeting potluck holiday dinner and social hour.  

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by Tom Lewis, Convener, with 27 people attending.  Visitors were introduced and all were asked to check the sign-in sheet and let Vince know if they did not receive emails about the meeting.  

Tim Reese spoke about the Executive Committee meeting that was held on December 4.  It was suggested at that meeting that the group drop the system of committees that we had been operating under, and instead each month focus on a different topic.  Each focus topic would relate to sustainability, peak oil, climate change, and economic reality, but would look at how this affects our personal lives, homes, farms and communities, rather than the global picture.  This could include personal ways of dealing with water, power, food supply, wastewater, transportation, etc., and incorporate lectures, discussions, workshops, field trips, book clubs, and website links.  

Tim moved that the 2015 SPH calendar be organized around focus topics, Todd Ashelman seconded, and the group passed the motion.  Tim then passed around paper so each person could write down what topics they were interested in learning about; these were written on the blackboard and topics for the first four months were picked.  Members volunteered to work on each topic.  

January 2015 - Topic:  Water;  Tim, Tom, Andy, Elsbeth, Dane (?) or Dan (?)

February 2015 - Topic:  New Economy, Sharing, Bartering; Todd, Steve, Dan, Vince

March 2015 - Topic:  Food: Growing, preserving, soil, compost, insect management; Jim Guy, Elsbeth, Josh

April 2015 - Topic:  Sanitation; Andy, Dane, Elli

The motion was made and passed that this schedule be adopted.

Other topics mentioned for later consideration were:

Renewable energy, wind, solar, fire building

Butchering, livestock

Herbal medicine, first aid


Sustainable business models

Local products

Preparation checklists


Inner resilience

Community development


Shelter, natural building


Steve Martin talked about setting up a barter network for our group on Facebook, similar to that in Western Maryland.  There was discussion of the merits of this, and will be addressed in February.  

Dorothy passed around a donation jar to give a boost to our treasury, and $64.00 was collected.

Dorothy will bring a Hampshire County map to the next meeting where members can mark where they live, so close neighborhood communities can be formed within SPH, which would be necessary in case of an emergency.

Tom Lewis closed the meeting with a poem “2014, The Last Good Year”.  Adjournment at 8:40 pm.

The next meeting will be on January 8, 2015, 7:00 pm. at the Health Dept. Meeting Room, Rt. 50, Augusta.  Doors will open at 6:00 for anyone wishing to share potluck dinner.

Submitted by Dorothy Kengla