Twin Oaks Community Report

As I write this, a child is being born here at Twin Oaks. In the upstairs living room of Kaweah, Summer and Purl are being assisted by friends, family and a midwife in giving birth to our newest member.

In June of this year we celebrated Twin Oaks' 41st Anniversary. Around 200 members and ex-members gathered together to watch slide-shows, have dinner and dance together to mark the occasion. Unfortunately, while we were waiting for dinner word got to us that one of the buildings next to our warehouse, named Oz, was burning. The destruction was total, but luckily the fire did not spread to any of the other buildings. The folks at Louisa Fire Department contained the fire and put it out for us. Work is already underway to replace Oz with a new steel building by this spring.

This years Halloween party was a blast. Many members dressed up and partied down. Costumes included: Sarah Palin's pregnant teenage daughter (costume worn by a 40-year old man), Peak Oil (person adorned with garbage bags and car-oil cans, with a trickle of fake oil dripping out of their head) and Johnny Cash (complete with 3-piece live band, led the whole room in singing a round of "Ring of Fire")

As of this moment, Twin Oaks is at maximum capacity. In early November we took on our 93rd adult member, which according to our current policy is our Population Capacity (or Pop Cap for short). Already since then we have collected a waiting list of a dozen people ready to move here once the opportunity arises. Is this the beginning of a new trend or just an anomaly? Only time will tell.

Many of our newer members have expressed a strong interest in moving our community into a more ecologically sustainable direction. We have converted most of our light-bulbs to compact florescent and are working on plans to adding a composting toilet. We are also doing renovation on the solar hot water heater in Harmony. We have done some calculations and learned that in our domestic areas we consume 70% less gasoline, 80% less electricity and 76% less natural gas the the average Virginia resident. We also produce 87% less solid waste then the average American. We also are exploring the idea of hosting a natural building workshop with a focus on communal structures in the fall of 2009.

We hosted the 2008 Communities Conference and Women's Gathering this year, both of which were marvelous successes. Members here also attended the Climate Convergence, hosted at a nearby convention center.

And finally, one of Twin Oaks' primary founding members, Kat Kinkade, died on July 3rd, peacefully at home at Twin Oaks. Kat was a visionary and a mover-shaker, and her life's work touched thousands of people. Her family and friends were here with her when she passed. Kat Kinkade was a founding member of 3 communities in the Federation of Egalitarian Communities; Twin Oaks, East Wind and Acorn. Each of these communities are still thriving to this day. Kat died due to complications related to bone cancer, an illness she has been living with for quite a while. Kat was buried in Twin Oaks Community's cemetery, with friends, family, and communards in attendance.

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