Author Archives: Charlie West

Reading Group begins another year in new location

The Transition Marquette County Reading Group will begin the 2018-2019 schedule with a conversation about the book Surviving the Future, Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy on Thursday, September 13 at 7pm in the Dandelion Cottage Room at Peter White Public Library in Marquette.  The content of Surviving the Future is by David Fleming (colleague and friend of Rob Hopkins), selected and edited by Shaun Chamberlin after Fleming died.  It describes what Fleming calls a “lean culture” that could come into being after the market economy fails.

Through a special grant we have a limited number of copies available for free to people who are willing to commit to coming on the 13th and joining the conversation. (The grantors are going to send us a survey about our experience.)  Interested? Call Charlie at 226-3314 or email

Note – we will begin the year meeting in the Dandelion Cottage Room at the Library.

To see the rest of the books – click this link     books 2018-2019

Reading Group Conversation on Building Community Resilience

The Transition Marquette County Reading Group will sponsor a conversation on Building Community Resilience at 7pm on Thursday, April 12, in the Conference Room at the Peter White Public Library in Marquette. Resources for the conversation will include two books Community Resilience Reader, edited by David Lerch, and Resilience Thinking by Brian Walker and David Salt.

Click the link above for more info –

Growing Your Own Food Series Continues….and Repair Cafe opens Saturday

The next Growing Your Own Food program is Thursday, Mar 15, on organics!  Click the link above for more information…

And the Repair Café will be open from noon to 4pm on Saturday, Mar 17, in the Marquette Arts and Culture Center (lower level of Peter White Public Library).  Yes, it’s St Patrick’s Day – we’ll have green treats!  If you have small to medium household items in need of repair, bring them on in and our Repair Talent will have at them.

Reading Group discusses “Earth in Human Hands”

The Transition Marquette County Reading Group will meet to discuss Earth In Human Hands by David Grinspoon on Thursday, March 8, at 7pm in the Conference Room at Peter White Public Library in Marquette.

By comparing Earth’s story to those of other planets like Mars and Venus, astrobiologist David Grinspoon shows what a strange and novel development it is for a species to evolve to build machines, and ultimately, global societies with world-shaping influence. He suggests that our present moment is not only one of peril, but also great potential, especially when viewed from a 10,000-year perspective. We must become graceful planetary engineers, conscious shapers of our environment and caretakers of Earth’s biosphere. This is a perspective that begs us to ask not just what future do we want to avoid, but what do we seek to build? What kind of world do we want? Are humans the worst or the best thing to ever happen to our planet?

Grinspoon was a student of Carl Sagan, and a colleague of James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, developers of the Gaia hypothesis, and he intersperses his book with stories about them and the early days of NASA.

Everyone is invited to join the conversation. It would help to have at least started to read the book. For more information, call Charlie at 226-3314 or email

Miss Michigan (Heather) visits The Repair Cafe

Ok – she was at the art exhibit next door but she wandered through.  She said if she would have known, she would have brought some stuff for us to fix –

The Repair Café will be open again on Sat, March 17, with people ready to fix your broken lamps, electronics, sewing machines, and other items.  (Can’t guarantee Miss Michigan will be back, though.)


Repair Cafe this Saturday – Feb 17

The Transition Marquette County Repair Cafe will be open on this Saturday, Feb 17, from noon to 4PM to handle repairs people bring from home. Repair tools are set up in the Marquette Arts and Culture Center in the basement of Peter White Public Library. Started last spring as an NMU student project, it is now in its second year of operation and is growing steadily, opening on the third Saturday of each month. Volunteer repair talent includes computers/electronics, sewing machine repair and adjustment, small appliances and lamps, clothing repairs, and most anything that can be carried in.

Repair Cafes are free meeting places and they are all about repairing things together. The first Repair Cafe opened in the Netherlands eight years ago. In addition to Marquette, Michigan Repair Cafes are also in Petoskey and Whitehall. Of the 1450 locations in the world, 67 are in the United States. Their purpose is to teach people how to repair their own things so they can save money and resources while diverting items out of the waste stream destined for dumps. The public with items to be repaired, or just their curiosity, are invited to stop in.