Jrs V14 I08


Burning Man Update: The Jack Rabbit Speaks
Volume 14, Issue #8
December 15, 2009

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Happy holidays, everybody … hope you’re surviving the onslaught in good form! Oh and hey, one way we’ve found to bring a little of the ol’ playa spirit to the season is to DIY (that’s Do It Yourself, yo) our gifts. It seems to soften the rough edges a little, adding a personal touch of immediacy to the whole shebang, and it’s oh so much more satisfying. Food for thought.

We have IMPORTANT news today for the matter at hand — Burning Man might seem far off, but we have NEWS already – including the new EARLIER DEADLINE FOR CAMP PLACEMENT. Plus, this ish is chock full of recaps of various programs and projects from 2009, including the Reno- Sparks Recycling Program, the Kiwanis Bike Program, and Feed the Artists. Also, an opportunity to become part of the Burning Man Staff for you money-minded beancounter types (not it!).

By the way — a few dozen of the core Burning Man staff wrapped up our annual Staff Retreat (the second four days’ worth) recently, wherein we spent intensive hours visioning the long-term future of Burning Man, and how to get there.

At the Retreat, we had the opportunity to gather as a group to burn a tiny temple and say goodbye to Burning Man’s long-time receptionist (and Burning Man’s second-ever employee), Joy Orabella. Joy passed away on November 20th, surrounded by friends and family, after a courageous battle with cancer. Joy was the absolute spiritual heart of the Burning Man Project. She was everybody’s friend, supporter, mother figure, and touchstone, and her giggle was a part of the music of our lives here at HQ for over 11 years. While we know she’ll always be watching over us (of this there’s no doubt), she is dearly missed, and we plan to make sure Joy remains a part of Burning Man — in name and in deed.

However you swing your holiday season, our very best to you and yours.


{============================================================} ========================LATEST NEWS========================= {============================================================}



We’ll keep this short and sweet. Tickets for Burning Man 2010 go on sale on Wednesday, January 13th, 2010, at 10am PST. All the info you need to know to prepare yourselves for that auspicious day of glory can be found on our ticketing page:


Now, every year there’s a big crush of people hammering at the site to get the cheapest tickets possible (our systems will be ready for the onslaught), and there’s a general gnashing of teeth about the whole thing. In light of that, we’ll just offer the following gentle reminders (please indulge us):

a) If you don’t end up getting one of the cheapest tickets, it’s only a little bit more money we’re talkin’ about here, and (trust us) you’ll completely forget about that extra cash when you’re standing on the playa, basking in the mind-blowing wonder that is Black Rock City … and

b) in the spirit of supporting our (economically diverse) community, we really do encourage you to purchase the highest priced ticket you can afford, as it leaves the cheapest tickets for the folks who need them most, while subsidizing the same. It’s all about the love, people.

So, take a moment to consider that … breathe, and chill. And then go get your tickets!



Black Rock City, LLC. Open Position: Accounting Manager

Black Rock City/Burning Man is currently in need of an experienced Accounting Manager responsible for the general accounting functions of the department. Assist with the month, quarter, and year-end close preparation of financial statements. Manage/Supervise payroll process. Assists the Controller in maintaining all accounting systems. Prepares periodic financial reports. Supervises the staff accountant(s).

*Train Staff Accountants in all areas of their job. Responsible for managing all Staff Accountants’ work.
*Supervise AP process and check runs (back-up to Staff accountant)
*Supervise expense reports process (back-up to Staff accountant)
*Manage or supervise payroll processing / payroll accruals
*Manage Inventory transaction postings and reconciliations
*Manage revenue and deposit postings and reconciliations
*Manage PO system development
*Supervises HCSO reporting (back-up to Staff accountant)
*Supervise preparation of all city, county and state required statements and tax documents for both CA and NV.
*Assist in all aspects of the accounting departments affairs
*Assist in budgeting process
*Assist in month-end review and close
*Assist with worker comp audit
*Lead and manage 1099 printing and mailing process
*Assist in intradepartmental budgeting

*Education equivalent to Bachelor’s Degree in Finance/Accounting, or the equivalent in related work experience.
*Demonstrates excellent knowledge of computer software applications, including Quickbooks, Microsoft Excel, and Word.
*Supervisory experience demonstrating the ability to plan and supervise the work of others
*Five or more years of Accounting experience demonstrating an in-depth knowledge of the month end close process, general ledgers accounts, payroll, budget development and preparation of financial statements.
*Excellent communication skills and the ability to write reports and business correspondence. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from owners, managers, employees, vendors and the general public. This position requires the ability to respond politely to all individuals and work well as a team player.
*Must be a self-starter who can multi-task in a small, busy office Monday through Friday
*Ability to set priorities and stay on track with deadlines is essential. Ability to stay focused on accuracy and timeliness.
*Ability to work with business mathematics and mathematical concepts such as probability and statistics. Ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.
*The ability to work effectively within an organization that encourages creativity and radical self-expression along with communal effort
*Ability to live and work in the harsh physical environment of the Burning Man event location on the Black Rock desert of Nevada for 2-3 weeks out of every year, mostly during August and September, as well as make possible periodic trips to Nevada for various meetings or other finance department needs.

This is a full-time, regular position eligible for benefits in our San Francisco office. If you are interested and qualified, please send your resume to:
accounting_position (at) burningman (dot) com and include “Accounting Manager Position” in the subject line.



The fine volunteers at Playa Info take great care of all the found items, including cameras and memory cards from Burning Man and SF Decompression. A small sampling of images from each of these items from 2009 are posted at the link below, with accompanying lost item inventory numbers, as in “09-###-G”.

Peruse the images. If not your personal images, maybe you’ll spot those belonging to a friend? The people who camped next door? Stranger things have happened.

o Did you lose a camera?
o Did you lose just a camera card?
o Maybe a whole bag or backpack with a camera inside?

see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/44352854@N03/

Twenty-four web photo pages of dusty, smiling Burners!

If you spot your images, write lostandfound (at) burningman (dot) com and include:

o The camera/card or bag inventory number
o A description of the make and model of the lost camera/card, or bag.
o A description of other (non-posted) images from the same source.

Hurry up: we end preceding-year found item return efforts when regular tickets go on sale mid-January for the current year. Yes, that means we’re done with 2009 items on January 13th, 2010.

Here’s to happy reunions!



2009 was a seminal year for Burning Man Placement. We had the challenge of more questionnaires filed than in 2008, but with less reserved camping space for theme camps. So we needed to apply our criteria more comprehensively, and in the end could not find space for over 130 camps. We did our very best, but had very little time or resources to examine appeals to our decisions.

We have debriefed on last year. We have reviewed the feedback from participants. Specifically we have heard the complaint that has been growing louder every year: announcing Placement on August 1st is a huge obstacle to travel planning for the east coast and international members of our community. To address this requires a new commitment from both from the Placement volunteers and YOU:

o We are “churning cycles of invention and destruction” by asking Theme Camps to meet the same, APRIL 29TH PLACEMENT QUESTIONNAIRE DEADLINE to which our infrastructure departments are held.

o Here’s the benefit: This will allow us to commit to announcing camp placement ONE MONTH EARLIER: BY EARLY JULY.

We would like to connect earlier still with those that are traveling far distances and/or have significant infrastructure planning needs. While the placement process HAS NOT become ‘first come, first served’, the earlier the questionnaire is in, the better the chances of making this happen.

Of course as always, we will remain ready and standing by to consult with you on the inevitable succeeding tweaks to the original plans submitted: some shifting of contents will always occur.

As project manager Sweetthang wrote back on July 15th of this year:

“…we seem to have more requests for larger camps, but the interactivity has not grown. Larger camps that appear to be blossoming bedroom communities that are simply adding space to accommodate more campers, but no [additional] interactivity have become very difficult for us to place.”

On a purely practical basis, it is simpler to map more smaller camps in our city.

The Placement team of volunteers have exponentially increased their meeting schedule to facilitate a higher degree of collaboration with theme camps. Our ears are open at placement (at) burningman (dot) com. We have evolved, and are ready to mid-wife the life you will bring to Black Rock City 2010.

– Placement Team



OK, so have you heard about the Feed the Artists Program (FtA, if you’re short on time)? If not, here’s a quick snapshot …

A few years ago, Burners Colonel Angus and Chef Jean-Pierre got together and decided to show their gratitude and support for Burning Man artists by hosting setup week dinners for the hard-working artist crews. Makes sense, right? These crews were working their tails off, sweating and bleeding in the hot sun, deep into the night, well into the wee hours of the morning, creating art for Black Rock City. What better way to show appreciation and support than to feed them healthy gourmet meals while they’re pushing themselves to the edge of exhaustion?

They started with a kitchen out of Ashram Galactica, where they fed 115 people over three nights. Then, they spent the next year planning, organizing, and — most importantly — spreading the word to other camps. In 2008, they added six Theme Camps to help feed a total of 674 people. By 2009, FtA had recruited 35 Theme Camps to join the effort, allowing this program to feed over 1000 artists!! That’s right, 1000 meals were served.

See where this is going? To coin a phrase, it’s Radical Collaboration. Folks in our community are giving the gifts they can share, supporting other folks who are giving the gifts *they* can share. And the cycle continues and grows … and we all benefit. As Colonel Angus describes the FtA mission: “FtA is an ideavirus that spreads and infects its host community with a deeply felt sense of appreciation, community, and purpose.”

So, with HUGE appreciation for their efforts, here are the Theme Camps who participated in FtA in 2009 by hosting artists for dinner(s):

Raygun Gothic Rocketship, Ashram Galactica, Camp of the Living Dead, Windbinge, Camp Condom, Purple Palace Camp, Happy Camp, Root Society, Tree Ring Circus, evoLLution, Midnight Poutine, Spin Art Camp, Camp Condom, Heebeegeebee Healers, Alternative Energy Zone, American Steel Camp, Peace Camp, Black Rock Diner, Midnight Poutine, Shadyvil, Twilight Spaghetti Theater, White Trash Superstars, Super 8 Sasquatch, Tast-E-Vin, Peace Camp, The Feed, Entheon Village

Colonel Angus also notes that “special mention should be made of a few camps. Sacred Spaces Village is an amazing story. They were a small group of about 7 people during setup week that fed FAR more artists than any other theme camp (well over 150 people), including the feeding of the entire Temple crew (75+ people)! The Lightning Temple crew hosted two separate dinners where they fed over 60 artists. And finally, Ashram Galactica, where FtA was born, also stepped up to the plate and fed the entire Raygun Gothic Rocketship crew (50+ People).”

In future editions of the JRS, we’ll give YOU ample opportunity to participate, and talk about ways in which this concept can be taken out into the real world. Stay tuned. In the meantime, if you want to learn more, check out the FtA website:


Thank you, Feed the Artists, for all the work you’ve done, and for providing a wonderful model of gifting in a community!



The Reno-Sparks Recycling Project, as operated by Save Mart Supermarkets and Whole Foods Market, returned another very successful year in 2009, thanks primarily to the increased participation of you, Burning Man participants.

More of us are recycling! Participation in the program as a percentage of the Black Rock City population increased by about 12-13% over 2008. Thank you very much for your participation and care!

Most of the recyclables (glass, most plastics, and metals) that Whole Foods Market collected went to Waste Management, while cardboard remained in-house with its regular recycling. All the metals collected by Save Mart went to Schnitzer Steel, plastics to Earth First Recycling, glass to Waste Management, and cardboard and plastic bags remained in-house with Save Mart’s regular recycling. All bicycles collected by both chains went to the Kiwanis Bike Project in Reno, household batteries to Whole Foods and then on to Ecycle Environmental in California, plastic bags to Save Mart, and all garbage to Waste Management. All food and water deposited by participants were donated to the Food Bank of Northern Nevada.

Save Mart raised $190 from the return on the metals it collected (metals are the only recyclable that currently has a realizable profit in the region). Whole Foods Market was unable to cash in on any of its recyclables due to its year-round recycling contract with Waste Management; however, Whole Foods chose to donate the proceeds raised in the garbage disposal services they provided to participants, which amounted to over $600. Both Whole Foods and Save Mart have chosen to match the proceeds raised — Save Mart will donate $380, and Whole Foods will donate $1000.

In total, $1380 will be donated to Black Rock Solar for the second phase of its solar installation project at the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal Medical Clinic in Nixon, due to be completed by early 2010.

If you have any feedback, please email it to RenoRecycling (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Below are the totals in recyclables. Also provided in parentheses for comparison are some of the totals collected by Save Mart in 2008. Unless otherwise noted, the unit of measurement is a 4′ x 4′ x 3′ bin:

Save Mart:

Plastics — 144 bins (183)
Aluminum — 15 (9)
Other Metals — 8 (7)
Glass — 19 (34)
Cardboard — 63 (64)
Bicycles — 122 (61)
Batteries — 40+ lbs
Food — 3 Barrels
Water — 1074 gallons

Whole Foods:

Plastics — 32 bins
Aluminum & Other Metals — 6
Glass — 3
Bicycles — 40
Batteries — 40+ lbs
Compost — 150+ lbs
Food — 1 barrel
Water — 250+ gallons


Plastics — 176 bins
Aluminum & Other Metals — 29
Glass — 22
Cardboard — 63+
Bicycles — 162
Batteries — 80+ lbs
Compost — 150+ lbs
Food — 4 barrels
Water — 1324+ gallons



Ellen Jacobsen of the Reno Kiwanis Bike Program writes in to let us know how their program fared in 2009. We were happy to have Ellen and her crew join us for a day on playa this year, where we got to know each other, and her crew enjoyed a tour of Black Rock City. Great group of folks! She writes:

“We sold 550+ bikes to people from 32 countries (maybe not living there now, but homelands) that they pinned on our map of the world including Ukraine, Russia, Brazil, British Virgin Isles, and Bahrain all new this year. Bikes sold included Burning Man Bikes and bikes for college kids who came in to our shop for the extended hours Net proceeds from pre-sales and on-site sales was approximately $20,000 net which is 25% higher than last year and will allow us to do significant service within the northern Nevada area including bicycling safety and incentive programs, pedestrian safety programs for younger kids, support for our middle, high school and adult outreach programs, book programs, dolls for hospitals, etc. etc. Without support from the Burning Man community our programs would be much smaller and less complete .

Participating in the Burners without Borders fundraiser pushed our sales over the top. It was a fun event, but it also helped us finish off our reservations about 3 weeks earlier than last year (and we reserved more bikes as well). Plan on our participation again next year please. It gets the Burning Man Community talking about us and that’s huge. And we soooooo appreciate the support for us through the Jack Rabbit Speaks. The free advertising is wonderful and much appreciated.

And we tallied over 300 hours of service by volunteers who helped with bikes during August and early September It not only included the sales for your bunch, but also a veritable army of kids (high school and college age) who came in to learn more about bike repair and doing “earn a bike” to get a bike for transportation to and from school and work.

We got 254 bikes back to be recycled as of tonight and it included quite a few new ones that we didn’t sell to them both at the shop and at the SaveMarts and at Whole Foods.

We collected over 250 bikes total as of this afternoon with 75 at Keystone, 30 from Lakeside and 24 from Whole Foods and over 100 at our shop. These were transported back to Reno by the Burners who support us and our recycling efforts. We’ll clean them up and either store them to use next year or fix them up for kids in the area to use right now. Many of the rest of the bikes we had sold were stored by Burners who said they kept them because they liked them and wanted to use them again (e,g, we brought one back and kept one comments).

The Whole Foods trailer was full and this is outstanding for a first ever collection point — thanks for making it happen. And they indicated they might be interested in a bike drive or PR event sometime later this year.

The word is out about SaveMart Keystone and we had superb support from them. They not only sold bikes for us, but they also collected bikes, bike pumps, racks, etc. that we’ll use this year.

This is also great for international awareness for Kiwanis and the service we do worldwide. There were lots of folks who inquired about the organization and what we do worldwide which is great community relations..and we’re looking forward to what it may nurture..

We’re headed to the playa on Saturday to pick up kids bikes, and as many adult bikes too as we can handle (3 trucks, 3 trailers and 7 people). I’ll let you know how it works out….

Thanks for all you do to make this happen. This was by far our most successful event to-date.”


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Motomoto Circus is Thriving in Kenya

Will Ruddick has been teaching street children in Mombasa, Kenya how to spin fire so that they might be empowered to raise themselves out of poverty and thrive. The fire troop known as Motomoto Circus is proud to announce that they have just performed at the Lamu National Cultural Festival where they were very well received. BWB was able to fund the performers’ trip to the festival because of generous donations from our community, and BWB could use your continued support in helping to make this project a success. You can check out the whole story here at BWB’s Blog:


Update on BWB Deployment to Samoa and Indonesia

Recently, several long-time BWB volunteers landed in American Samoa to assess a possible volunteer deployment there. Due to the many challenges dealing with transportation and creating a viable infrastructure, BWB will not be deploying at this time. Neesh continued on to Indonesia where he is working with the fine volunteers of Hands On Disaster Response who are responding to the needs from the earthquake that struck two months ago. If you are interested in volunteering in Indonesia, get more information at:



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When a group of Pittsburgh Burners thought to themselves: “What makes Burning Man special?” the answer was resounding: harsh conditions, amazing art, good people. And what harsh conditions were available? Winter, of course…cold, snowy, Pittsburgh winter. And thus “Frostburn” was born.

Imagine the climatic opposite of Burning Man: not a Playa but a Tundra, where ice and snow join fire and steam as mediums… Where sharing warmth is not just a figure of speech, but a necessity. Where radical self-reliance and communal effort are critical for human survival…

Frostburn is now entering its third year and has thus far been a resounding success in bringing people together, showing off new art, and reminding us why we liked to play in the snow in the first place. We’ve had sweat lodges, viking ships, effigies not-so-vaguely resembling male genitalia, naked Mr. Rogers sing-alongs, and even full service sports bars serving pierogies. Not to mention the normal snow- ball battles, polar bear plunges, and normal winter activities. One of the most rewarding things, however, has been seeing people realize what they can do….huge contingents bringin’ it from climates where the temperature never sees 50 (go Alchemy crew!), while others have come back just because they realized what they can do. Plus it’s made hot chocolate all the sweeter…

Frostburn has some amenities…limited electrical sites, RV access, a heated bathroom…but more and more, people have been creating warm spaces for people to gather and be together and share stories (umm…and party). Won’t you join us?

Frostburn takes place 50 miles north of Pittsburgh, PA over Presidents’ day weekend: February 12-15th. Tickets start at $35 and are on sale now at



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Scott Hess offers up this amazing gallery of Burning Man 2009 shots … Scott’s a part our Documentation Team who sure seems to know his way around a camera. These shots exemplify why this Rabbit just leaves his camera at home. Enjoy:



{============================================================} =================CONNECT WITH BURNING MAN=================== {============================================================}


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Official Burning Man Twitter Account – All Things Burning Man:

Black Rock City Twitter Account – All Things BRC:

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