Farm to Family School Bus Turned Farmers Market


From INTERIOR DESIGN

If you see a school bus rolling down the streets of Richmond, Virginia, look closer- that bus might not be transporting school children, but fresh produce from the peripheral rural farming areas around the city. Mark Lilly has transformed a 1987 diesel school bus into a mobile produce market in order to connect local farms with communities to re-establish a personal relationship with locally grown food, and of course to encourage better eating and general well-being. Farm to Family, the bus market and CSA program, changes its offerings throughout the year to reflect what’s growing every season. And the space itself, inside the bus, is smartly planned and built-out as a sturdy framework for toting vegetables around town. Check out their website to see where they’re pulling up next!

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Warren Johnson: Letter To Obama


From WARREN JOHNSON
Covelo

[Warren’s 1978 book, Muddling Toward Frugality, has just been republished with the foreward being a review of the book in 1978 by Edward Abbey. Warren is circulating this letter with hopes of getting through to the President. -DS]

Warren Johnson
74001 Dobie Lane, Covelo, CA 95428
(707) 983-6853  wjohnson3251@gmail.com

July 20, 2010

President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington D.C. 20500-0004

Dear Mr. President,

I tried to get this to you before, but now it is critical for the challenge all of us face in keeping the economy healthy when debt makes it risky to stimulate growth. My background in natural resources adds a second barrier to growth—the stabilization of oil production since 2005 that would drive oil prices up if new jobs were created.

What is needed is a way of creating jobs at less cost and use of oil.  This could be done by encouraging the creation of sustainable ways of life by offering assistance to those who would like to live in the simpler, more cooperative ways that can be supported with renewable energy.  The industrial niche is growing crowded even as it is being consumed with the depletion of the fossil fuels that made the Industrial Revolution possible in the first place.  The opening we have is in the sustainable niche that supported human life prior to the industrial era, and will do so again after the fossil fuels are gone, and with the larger amounts of renewable energy that modern technology can make available on an ongoing basis.

Dave Pollard: How a Community-Based Co-op Economy Might Work


From DAVE POLLARD
How To Save The World

Most people have been brought up to believe that the competitive, grow-or-die, absentee-shareholder-owned, “free”-trade “market” economy is the only one that works, the only alternative to a socialist, government-run economy. This myth is perpetrated in business and other schools, by the media, by accountants and lawyers and bankers and, of course, in the business world. This amoral-capitalist economic model has “succeeded” in the same hostile way our species has “succeeded” — by brutally suppressing, starving for resources, using power to steal from, and, when all else fails, killing off anything deemed a “competitor” or threat to its monopoly on power and resources. It relies on massive subsidies and near-zero interest rates thanks to well-rewarded political cronies, on political graft and corruption worldwide, on oligopoly and restraint of competition, on wage slavery and worker ignorance, on phony money and unrepayable debt, and on advertising, human insecurity, ego and greed to create an artificial demand for its shoddy, overpriced crap. And, on top of all that, it’s utterly unsustainable.

For an alternative, natural economy to work, we either have to wait for this amoral-capitalist economy to collapse (which it will, but probably not for a few decades), or we have to plant the seeds for this alternative economy in the cracks where the current one is already failing most badly — at the community level where the economy is most obviously failing to produce meaningful work, sucking resources, wealth and opportunity out, and dumping mass-produced and imported crap that ends up in the landfill, and pollutants in our air, water, soil and food that make us sick and contribute to climate change…

more here
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James Houle: Washington tries to cap the WikiLeaks leak


From JAMES HOULE

WikiLeaks released on July 25th 76,000 mostly one-page battlefield documents leaked from US Army sources out of a total of 92,000 in their possession. They detail a vast array of material about the Afghan War ranging from “tactical reports about small unit operations to broader strategic analyses of politico-military relations between the US and Pakistan”. /STRATFOR’s George Friedman (07/27/10)/ doubts that this disparate assortment of not-so-sensitive materials below the ‘Top Secret’ category would likely have been collected by any single source. WikiLeaks, an organization operating out of several European cities since July 2007, produced this report entitled: “Afghan War Diary, 2004-2010” and sent it to three news organizations, The New York Times, the Guardian of London, and Der Speigel in Germany. One United States official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation, said government lawyers were exploring whether WikiLeaks and its leader, Mr. Julian Assange could be charged in violation of the Espionage Act, a 1917 law that prohibits the unauthorized disclosure of national security information. They might be charged with a crime if they were to release actual names or identities of Afghans who had worked under cover with the US Army/(NYTimes 07/29/10)/. Pfc. Bradley Manning, now returned from Army incarceration in Kuwait to the Quantico Brig in Virginia, previously released to WikiLeaks a 2007 video showing a US helicopter killing 12 unarmed Iraqis including two Reuters newsmen in Baghdad. WikiLeaks have not identified Pfc. Manning nor anyone else as the source of the current Afghan War Diary covering the period from Jan. 2004 through Dec.2009.

*IT MAY NOT BE NEW NEWS BUT IT SURE WAS NEW TO GRANDMA FEINSTEIN *
“Nothing new here, nothing we did not know”, we have been reassured by Defense Secretary Bob Gates and White House flak Robert Gibbs: “There is not much here that the public did not know and was not told by the media nor by the Administration”.

Todd Walton: Social Security



1935

From TODD WALTON
Anderson Valley

“The government of my country snubs honest simplicity, but fondles artistic villainy, and I think I might have developed into a very capable pickpocket if I had remained in the public service a year or two.” ~Mark Twain

Today’s mail brought my annual report from the Lord High Chamberlain of the Exchequer informing me that unless I get hyper busy and super lucky, too, and start making gobs of money so the government can tax those gobs and dump loads of loot into my Social Security account, my later years, so-called, will be mean ones, as in Not Fun. True, the scribes toiling for SS (how Naziesque that acronym) are quick to point out that no reasonable human can hope to survive on SS payments alone, that such payments are merely intended to supplement the vast sums they seem to assume we have tucked away in other income-producing niches impervious to downturns in interest rates, stock markets, housing markets, and all other known markets currently falling like lead weights dropped from leaning towers everywhere.

Indeed, the verbiage attached to the SS notice trumpeting the diminutive stipend awaiting me when I crest sixty-six, puts me in mind of the surreal fiction of Calvino and Ionesco and Pinter, their ironic humor barely softening the horror of being eaten alive by the bureaucratic mouths of our overlords. For instance, here is a badly written but highly revealing passage of SS doggerel. “If you retire early, you may not have enough income to enjoy the years ahead of you. Likewise, if you retire late, you’ll have a larger income, but fewer years to enjoy it. Everyone needs to try to find the right balance, based on his or her own circumstances.”

Michael Foley: Local Produce Price Comparisons — Farmers Markets This Saturday 7/31/10


From SCOTT CRATTY
Ukiah

Friends of the Market,

Get set for another booming farmers’ market Saturday morning.  We will likely set yet another record for vendors in attendance.  At the moment I am expecting 36 food vendors, then there are the local crafts. Why not customers as well?

Joining us this weekend for the first time this season will be Elmer’s Orchard with Ukiah area peaches. Barlow Farms from Willits will debut. Red Tail Farm from Potter Valley will be back as will Glowing Lotus farm… tomatoes are starting to happen (but you may still need to be early to get yours) and overall School Street will be one giant salad bowl.  Plus we will have a full range of local meat, seafood, and more for your weekend grill.

Are you one of, apparently many, people who think they cannot afford farm fresh food in these tough economic times?  If so, please read the excellent article by Willits market manager Michael Foley that is pasted below.  Share it with your friends as well.

The market is open every Saturday 8:30 to Noon in Alex Thomas Plaza at School and Clay Streets.

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Isn’t Farmers Market more expensive than the supermarket?  Well, no.
by Michael Foley

Surveys have shown that most customers at farmers markets think the produce is more expensive when in fact it isn’t.  That seems to be true for Willits as well.

Wendy Roberts Contracting With Outside Company To Bug You In The 5th District With Phone ‘Polls’


From MENDO LISTSERVS

[With Wendy Roberts, what you see here, is what you’ll get here: dumb growth,  privatized services, mall-think, and gated condos as far as the eye can see. Instead, vote for Transition and Localizing. Vote for Dan! -DS]

Wendy Roberts is contracting with the Charlton Co., an Oregon based info gathering  and political strategizing organization who work with the following corporations:

American Automobile Manufacturers Assn.

American Crop Protection Association

American Paper Institute

American Petroleum Institute

ARCO

Association of California Tort Reform

AT & T

Bank of America

Bechtel, Inc.

Bell Atlantic

Boeing Company

Building Industry Association of the Delta

Business Roundtable

California Assoc. of Hospitals and Health Systems

California Bankers Association

California Cattlemen’s Association

California Forest Products Commission

Staci Mitchell: Taking financial reform into our own hands


From STACI MITCHELL
YES! Magazine

Wall Street has prospered following the financial crisis—while on Main Street, economic suffering continues

With the passage of the financial reform bill, giant banks see a golden opportunity to finally put the financial crisis, along with their culpability for wrecking our economy, in the rearview mirror.

“We are very pleased to have this certainty and closure,” declared Steve Bartlett when the House-Senate conference committee had finished negotiating. Bartlett is the president of the Financial Services Roundtable, a powerful big bank lobbying group that would like nothing more than to make this legislation the one and only policy response to the banking system’s catastrophic failure.

It’s up to all of us to make sure that it is not.

The economic crisis is not over, and the rot and malfunctioning at the heart of our banking system remains. Indeed, since the collapse, giant banks have only grown bigger and more powerful, and less responsive to the needs of the real economy. While the financial reform bill includes several worthwhile measures, it will not set the industry right or entail a fundamental alteration of its scale and structure.

It leaves us, at best, only modestly less vulnerable to another meltdown. And it fails utterly to confront a deeper problem: even in the best of times, our banking system does not serve us very well.

The Story of Cosmetics


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From ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP

BABIES ARE BORN PRE-POLLUTED WITH 100′s OF TOXIC CHEMICALS.

OUR BROKEN TOXICS LAW IS FAILING THEM.

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO CHANGE THAT.

EWG tested the umbilical cord blood of 10 newborn babies and found nearly 300 chemicals, including BPA, fire retardants, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticides that were banned more than 30 years ago.

Speak up for change. Our kids deserve it.

Bills to overhaul federal toxic chemicals policies are now moving through Congress. They would require that all chemicals be proven safe for children before they can be sold. Lawmakers in Washington need to know that you want strong reforms for our broken toxics law.

Please sign this petition to demand that Congress take action to make chemicals in consumer products kid-safe.

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